Another Story in Three Sentences
Who Do You Love

ROW80-3 checkin 7/8 - professionalism

Yes - I know that's yesterday's date, I'm a day late. again. Working on that.

There was an interesting review nn The Creative Penn site of a book by Stephen Pressfield, Turning Pro. One of the quotes form it was “The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. A professional has professional habits.”

Or - a writer acts like a writer. That's the point of what I'm trying to do with ROW80 and these objectives, develop the proper habits. Pick the tasks, set a schedule, keep at it. As a writer, our first priority is usually just to write, because we like it. A second is to learn how to be a better writer, through practice, networking, courses, etc. And the third, I think, is to make some money at it. A lot of money would be nice but we'll settle for some. I'm trying to keep those things as my focus, so that when I'm planning tasks for the day, I think, what would Jesus a writer do? 

Back to specifics - what did I do since the last check in? I met some objectives, missed others. But I'm still using my little spreadsheet and tracking where I've been, so that I can adjust my focus. A work in progress.

For this check in:

  • Editing - did some more, mostly adding a few scenes, cutting some words, tweaking here and there. Only a few pages further on printer copy, but more online. Word count is up, but some text was slashed too. I think the only real metric for this is time - put in some every day on it and eventually I'll be done. It seems like a chore to start, so get's put off more than not, but it is often fun once I get into it. I had hoped to get both novels edited into second revision this ROW80 - maybe not. 
  • Writing - did another Flash Fiction for Terrible Minds, a short story in three sentences. More of a challenge than I thought at first, I enjoyed it. I've a couple more due this week, from various sites.
  • Learning - reading blogs - a couple of days behind again, that will be my task after this post.
    • commenting on other posts and groups - yup, did some of that
    • podcasts - still working through the logistics of this, but have a few I'm listening to while walking. cleaning, cooking, etc. 
    • reading - fiction. Definitely ahead on that. I just finished Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher, for our sci-fi club. Good so far, have the second of six siting here. A friend is on Book Five, she assures me the series does not - as Game of Thrones does - keep killing off most of the characters in every book. 
    • reading - non-fiction - more on the Grimms, as one of this week's challenges is to set a fairy tale in modern times. 
  • walking - doing better, with the cooler weather and some podcasts. Although - sometimes it's good to just walk and let the mind wander too, see what story ideas pop up.
  • TV - going over on this, as am catching up still on back episodes of True Blood. I suppose could also count under 'learning to write", as I find now that when I read books or watch movies or tv, I do so as a writer, seeing what worked. And what didn't work. It is a fun series. I'm just starting Season Three now, and understand they've agreed to do a sixth one. More late nights for me! 

For next one - my focus:

  • editing - every day would be nice, early at the same time would be better, I really need to develop this as a professional habit. Right now the reward will be to just get it over for the day, maybe some day I'll actually look forward to editing as much as writing. Or maybe not.
  • blogs - catch up
  • writing - couple of stories due Wednesday


Just for reference, my overall objectives: 


  • Writer (7) - writing for fun, but also working to become a better writer. Writing every day, editing. Reading about writing, books and blogs, as well as networking.
    • Editing (2) - this will be a fixed early task. 2 hrs ?? 10 pages/day 
      • Due North. First pass pencil edit done. Now do online. Approx 315 double-spaced pages, starting at page 81.  
      •  Due North 2 - sequel. About 260 pages. TBD – cleanup scenes synopsis and notes, print, revise, type in.  
    •  Writing (1) - Flash Fiction stories. 2/wk, 3 hrs each, so an hour. 
    • Publishing (1/2) -nothing like rejection/acceptance to hone your skills
      • Short Stories (1/4) – Flash fiction. New, or edit existing. Take from blog while submitting. Use market survey from Flash Fiction Chronicles, aim to send in one a week. 
      •  Fairy Tale Folk (1/4)- pull them together into collection. Start with a spreadsheet – story, characters, their traits, their development, good for ongoing stories too. Edit if time. Not a high priority this round. 
  •  Learning/sharing (3 1/2) 
    • Blogs (1) - maybe too many subscriptions. Track them all for a week and rate them.
    • Facebook (1/2) - ROW80 group, Ottawa Writers, Creative Writing Circle, and NaNoWriMo Ottawa. 
    • Podcasts (1) - have set up a few, mostly on writing. Can follow these while walking or cooking.
    • Reading (1) - non-fiction, to entertain and learn. 
    • Reading (1) - fiction, to entertain and learn. 
  • Health (2 1/2) - not a lot of time, but needs to be a main item. 
    • Walking (1) - can be an evening activity too. With podcasts. Will aim for 10,000 steps.
    • Exercise/sports (1/2) -Short morning yoga session. Floor exercises? Bike? 
    • Diet – Better food, less alcohol (healthier and cheaper). 
    • Schedule - hopefully this will be healthy addition too. 
    • Friends and family (1) - just to make sure don't get stuck inside doing all these tasks
  •  Chores (2) - the boring stuff. Cleaning, laundry, shopping. And taxes.
  • TV (1)
  • Total 11.25





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Sounds like you're moving along nicely and building up on your objectives. Good stuff! Can you couple your editing with something you already do every day? Even better if it's something enjoyable. But sometimes if you link a habit you're trying to build with one you already have, it's a little easier to make it work. Keep up the good work!


Hmmm - well, I do have a fairly regular habit. I get up, at 8, or 9, or 10, and have breakfast, or not, and then a coffee, then sit down at the pc to browse some blogs while I sip.
Actually, the only regular habit in that is the coffee and pc. Part of this ROW80 is to tighten up my schedule - at least the morning part.
But I could try swapping that initial blog checking with editing as I sip - I do enjoy that first cup of joe.

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