Once Upon a Time
ROW80-2 checkin 4/15 -captive audience

ROW80 round 2 check in - 4/11 -stuck

I seem to be stuck. Not writers block, no, just stuck with my objectives. Mainly the first one, editing my WIP. Which delays everything else it seems. Oh, and a day late again, but that's the new normal for me I think.

My editing went so well at the start of round 2 - clean table, sunny window, fresh breeze in the window, birds chirping in the garden, manuscript freshly printed. I worked through each scene, pen in hand, adding dialogue or description, little arrows and notes saying -  move to next scene, add more emotion, or check online. 

Now I'm back in my 'office', with cluttered desk, blinds pulled, a stack of paper covered with cryptic notes, warm spring days beckoning me out. And of course overlaying it all is the distraction of the Wide World Web. Damn you Al Gore. I've tried turning off my router - that helps until I need to check a fact for my WIP.

Problems are twofold I think - the location and the task. This 'work' area is surrounded by printers and papers, filing cabinets and photos, so is not somewhere I approach with 'here's where I write'. A separate writing area and computer would be nice, but I don't know anyone giving away their MAC. A MAC since it would merge so nicely with Scrivener and with my iPad. Maybe some de-cluttering would help, starting with longer cables so I can move some hardware off the desk top. As for the second part, the task itself, it's just harder I guess - capturing all those notes into the online version, shuffling around text, turning the creativity on for a paragraph of slick dialogue, then back to just cutting and pasting. Oh well - it is what it is. Enough analysis and bemoaning my fate - I've an update to finish here. Then on to my objectives.

So far:

  • editing WIP - only about 20 pages into it - 300 to go. Clear the desk, then keep on truckin'. 
  • short stories - as mentioned, sold my first flash fiction - not for much, but it counts. Will follow two prompts now I think, Terrible Minds as well as Flash Fiction Friday's. 
  • blogs - several days behind on the ones on my list. Or, "only" several days behind, I guess. 
  • reading - fiction - got out the first in 'The People' series by Michael and Kathleen Gear, called People of the Wolf. I thought it might help for a book idea I have about early native civilizations in North America, but it is more fiction than research links for me. I did notice - now that I know more about writing - some awkward exposition sections where the authors add details of early skills or techniques. Doesn't really help the plot, just shows good research. 
  • reading - non-fiction. Got my library copy of Guns, Germs, and Steel. Second edition, some updates and additions, but a lot of duplications removed too. Good read so far. 
  • social media - as always, the challenge is to do more that is related to writing and less on other topics. I've gathered many interests and followers over the past few years, so easily get distracted by artists, musicians, mural painters, social activists, or just interesting people and things.
  • exercise - more with spring here. Yes, can bundle up and walk in winter, but so much easier now. I did head over to MEC the other day - that's about 40 minutes away. And conveniently passes by the wine store and a coffee shop. 
  • todo - not getting this far down the list. 

So - progress so far? Not so good. If by the end of the 80 days I want to be hitting my whole list, consistently, I'd better figure out how to get there. Maybe I need a new objective - distractions. Like visiting friends, sitting on a patio in the sun, or playing with grandkids. OK - need those too, especially the last one - it's a question of balance of course. 




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Robin McCormack

I can commiserate. Editing seems to have slowed me down quite a bit as well. It just takes more time and our internal editors are on super drive, unlike when we lock them in the closet while writing that first draft. My only suggestion is small chunks at a time, one hour at a time. And yes, decluttering helps. I can't do anything surrounded by clutter. Congratulations on selling the short story. I'll have to check out the two links. I read People of the Wolf back when it first came out so don't remember much about it. Always helps to analyze stories and learn from it. What I'm attempting to do now. As far as reaching all your goals, baby steps. Add a bit more each time and by the end of the round, you'll probably be hitting them all. Either that or adjusted them to fit in with life. Happy editing!


I find this second part of editing my first draft awkward. Going through with pen in hand, page by page, was fairly straightforward. Going through at my PC - copying in some notes, expanding on suggested changes, moving whole chunks, creating dialogue and description - I find that awkward. But will keep at it. Did a few pages today, and then ended up writing to some contacts for background info, and doing some maps of the area in my story. It's based on an area in Manitoba, but couldn't make everything fit. So will adjust things - I'll add a disclaimer at the start so people don't pore over their atlases and send me critiques.


Oh - sorry - also thanks for commenting. Some good points.


I remember liking People of the Wolf. And Guns, Germs, and Steel - good reads! I bet a little decluttering will help you out immensely. Good luck!


I think you're on to something with the clutter issue... at least it helped me to clear my desk of the crowding. Good luck getting unstuck!

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