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December 2012
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February 2013

ROW80-1 check in 01/13 - not much happening

I kept delaying yesterday's check in, to give myself a chance to finish some more things on my list of objectives. Or catch up on Season 4 of Misfits.

I did some editing, and critiquing, but no writing. I haven't felt motivated to do any Flash Fiction since my forced Christmas break - not for a want of interesting prompts.  

I'll keep this check in brief - so I can get to 'work' today. I am hoping to get into a better schedule this ROW cycle, especially in the morning - leaving the rest of the day more open and flexible.

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ROW80-1 check in -01/09 - first one of the year!

Yay! Mo Row! We only picked our goals and objectives a couple of days ago but feels good to get rolling again on 'the writing challenge that knows you have a life'. 

I've sort of been following my objectives over the holidays, but this makes it more official and a little more accountable. My writerly goals are to become a better writer and to becomea successful author - meaning income earning. The first is sort of a moving target, with no definite target date, as I hope to constantly improve my writing skills. It also will feed into the second goal - the better the writing, the better the chances of getting published. Published when? I plan on sending my short stories out weekly, after I tune a few up, so hope I can get some accepted this ROW80 cycle. As for my novels - I have three written and a publisher waiting to see two of them. Both are in edit mode, so will need several passes by me as well as being sent to a beta reader. Once I find one. No idea how long that will take, but will hope for end of the ROW for one of them. 

Progress so far:

  • Writing
    • Flash Fiction - one due for posting Wednesday night - only part way through it, have idea and a draft.
    • ROW80 check in's - done
    • Critique a story on -done
    • Book clubs - have two a month, to read and critique. Did one Monday night
  • Publishing
    • Edit first novel, Due North, an hour a day is going OK, maybe can ease up to more 
  • Other
    • Daily yoga and core strengthening exercises - have a set routine for each, doing it, as well as keeping to a diet.
    • MAin other was a Wednesday evening of TV - lots of sitcoms. most of which I've never seen before. And likely won't again.

ROW80-1 - 2013 - goals and objectives

Time now to think about long term goals, and short term SMART objectives to get there - possible in this Round. That would be objectives that are:

  • Specific - clear, we know exactly what has to be accomplished, 
  • Measurable - can measure it's completion, 
  • Achievable - a stretch, but something you have time and resources to reach, 
  • Relevant - supports the overall goal, and
  • Time-bound - with a specific target date.

In other words, writing lots is too vague, writing 500 words a day is better.

My goals in life are varied, the writerly ones are to become a better writer and to become a successful (income earning) author. I'm targeting that for this year. Becoming a better writer means write regularly, get feedback on my writing, learn from that, and also learn from various books - fiction or non - and courses. Becoming a successful author means improving my writing so not only I like it better, but others do, and  are so amazed that they will actually pay me for it. That means not just putting a few Flash Fictions on line, and stuffing each year'S NaNoWriMo novel in a drawer, it means polishing my writing until it squeaks, then sending it in to publishers.  Repeatedly if necessary.

I also have a goal to enjoy the above process, and life in general, so will include some health and social goals under "Other". 

I started ROW80 a year ago, and had a long list of objectives, more like a to-do list. I also tried using some non-SMART objectives for a cycle. Neither worked that well, so this time I'll try for a balance, as follows:

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Happy New Year - 2013

... or New Years, if you prefer.

Once again, many of us will think of of resolutions, statements of intent, suggestions, vague possibilities - whatever we choose to call them.  2013 01 01_0002
Perhaps your process is to just take last year's to-do list, still full of tasks, relabel it 2013, and put it away again. Perhaps you start afresh with all the things you've always wanted to do in life. Perhaps you have only a few minor areas to focus on.
My suggestion would be to think small, do that Bill Murray tiny steps thing. Later on, when that task is done, or maybe when it's put aside - nothing wrong with recognizing a change in priorities - go ahead and pick something else.
I used a site last year for writers, called A Round of Words in 80 Days. The blog for the site describes it as 'the writing challenge that knows you have a life'. You decide on some SMART objectives, mostly related to writerly things, publish them on your blog, and report back on there and to the site twice a week - for 80 days. The cycle repeats, four times a year, with about a 10 day rest in between.
There is a strong community of writers via the site, as well as many on their Facebook site, a community always willing to praise and nudge as you work on developing new habits.
Seems a good way to effect change: pick some SMART objectives, commit to them publicly, gather a support group, repeat until a new habit.

As for my own resolutions - health has bumped up the priority list a bit. After putting out my back December 16, and spending days in bed, on painkillers, I eventually dragged myself out and started (or re-started) some back exercises. They are ones I got a few years ago last time this happened, ones I did a while, then stopped. Also added into my mornings some yoga routines, just to limber up. Plan is to exercise, write, take a break, then work on editing and publishing what I've done so far. Then - rest of the day for whatever.  

BTW - photo is view from my kitchen window, nice place to sit and write. Or just stare out and think - that's allowed too.