Nosy, Nosy, Nosy
ROW80-3 check in 8/12 - Misfits

ROW80-3 check in 8/08 - the easy life

I admit to friends now about being a writer. Yes, I've finally come out of the closet, stood up in the circle, and admitted to it with, "Hi, I'm Mike, and I'm a writer". So I talk to them about it and - after they find out I'm not wealthy from it, with a book list they can go out and buy - many of them lose interest. I don't think they realize all the work that can go into this as a career, as a job, as more than a hobby, as not just something to keep me busy-busy. I know, and fellow writers know, but others don't really care about the details. I think they're convinced I live the easy life, that a writer must just sit down every day or so, rattle of ten or twenty thousand words, and send them in to an anxiously waiting publisher. Frustrating attitude, and maybe that's why some of us won't admit to out passion.

So - how went my work the last few days as a writer? So many things, so little time. I did my essay  on Alice for my course, and reviewed those of four other students. The quality is improving - either we are learning already or some dropped out.

Wrote two short stories, one for Writer's Unboxed based on a drawing of a happy girl dancing in the forest, another for Flash Fiction Friday describing a nosy neighbour and possible consequences. Both tales are slightly dark - of course. Seems to be part of my evolving style - maybe it keeps me from actually running up the street with an ax.

I watched some TV and videos - online of course. Maybe I should think about cancelling cable? Watched the landing of Curiosity early Monday morning via several feeds from NASA, and watched the first few episodes of The Newsroom. Good dialogue, some good and some bad characters, maybe a little too rah-rah lets make journalism more ethical and objective and enable the American people to make more informed choices. Watched several so far, getting into it. A nice idea, but in the real world this kind of show would have to compete with a lot of really bad programming, and a lot of people that have forgotten how to think, or don't care anymore. Oops - rant attack!! Ack! Ack! Sorry.

Did some reading too, non-fiction for a change. Library books both. I finished Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury. It's a series of very good essays on writing - good for their content, as well as his beautiful prose. I'll add a review up on Goodreads. And will be adding this to my library shelf, as I just got my own copy at Chapters. Currently I'm reading Ancient Inventions, by James and Thorpe. Was recommended as good background for a writer, as it shows not just a list of who invented what, but also why and how. Part way through - on the list of things to be done. 

And under the 'other' category - some reading and writing in a close by cool and peaceful tavern, and - with cooler weather - walks with iPhone podcasts.

Next foci? Start reading Dracula, once my library copies pop up. Another story for Friday. Sort through papers - if I REALLY get bored. Or watch more on Curiosity and Newsroom.


Just for reference, my overall objectives for this ROW (which I never expect to meet all at the same time):

  •  Writer (8) - 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 (1) - 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 (5 1/2) 
    • Blogs (1) - maybe too many subscriptions. Track them all for a week and rate them.
    • Facebook (1) - ROW80 group, Ottawa Writers, Creative Writing Circle, and NaNoWriMo Ottawa. 
    • Podcasts (.5) - have set up a few, mostly on writing. Can follow these while walking or cooking.
    • Reading (1) - non-fiction, to entertain and learn. 
    • Reading (0) - fiction, to entertain and learn (part of course now). 
    • Course –(2) Fantasy and Science Fiction. Reading, writing, critiques, videos
  • 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 13.5





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cas webb

Good job with your goals. You seem quite organised :)

I notice your an avid reader, if you feel like something to read here's my story:

Click on chapter 1 and if you enjoy it please Like and share and follow etc.

In return I'm following you :)

Good luck organising everyhting :)

Rebecca J Fleming

Nice work on keeping up with your goals. I understand your frustration with non-writer friends; as soon as people find out that you write but aren't rich and famous from it, they treat it as if it's just a phase you're going through or a silly hobby to pass the time. But look at it this way, at least we're being more productive than they are instead of just watching TV for six hours a day ;)


Thanks for the comments. It's a challenge to stay organized, but I've learned not to shoot for 100%

Cate Russell-Cole

Hi Mike, I love seeing a writer list writing for fun as a goal! With ROW80 I see so much seriousness that can take the fun out of the creative journey. Please continue to keep it in, it's so essential! Also, congratulations on coming out of the closet. Most people don't understand writing until they attempt it: then many never finish it! Of the hundreds of writing students I have had, I believe only 2% come out with finished work. I try and teach people the journey now and focus less on the final product. That way they get excited and I don't give up and just get a job at McDonalds. :-) It's a great life! I love it and I am glad to see you on the road.

Cheers, Cate (ROW80)


Thanks for the encouragement. I figure since this is a career by choice, not by necessity, there will always have to be some fun in it.
However - while I do enjoy the process, the act of creation, a bonus is feedback from others that appreciate it too. A bigger bonus will be people that actually pay for it!

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