#ROW80 Wrapup

Forgive me friends for I have slacked. It’s been six weeks since I left the internet.

And except for a single blog post, a few automated tweets, and a handful of blog comments (mainly responses on my own site), I really did put a stop to the general mingling. I can definitely feel a big difference as far as how much I feel is packed into my brain all the time.

A Round of Words in 80 Days

But I don’t want to get too much into that, because this is supposed to be about the end of A Round of Words in 80 Days. Strangely, I can’t find where I listed concrete long-term goals for the challenge. Mostly I’ve talked about my short-term goals which were about working daily on the series for at least an hour, with at least half an hour unplugged from the internet, and to write at least three scenes per week on Heroes ‘Til Curfew until it was done.

Heroes 'Til Curfew Cover Art

Cover Art by Robin Ludwig

I had mixed success on that. On the time spent, I’m still not great with daily habits. And this is on everything, not just writing. Exercise, dish washing, bed making, and there are still a lot of days I forget to eat for the better part of the day. So consistency continues to be an issue I need to work on. I would say that, for the most part, and especially since I’ve taken my internet break, I’ve at least averaged my hour per day, which is something.

Three scenes per week? No. I’ve still got the end of Heroes ‘Til Curfew ahead of me, and there was definitely a point at which I just got stuck. I stubbornly let myself stay stuck for a long time and accomplished next to nothing.

I finally decided to let myself go back and edit the front end. I’m back to working productively. I’ve fixed things that were wrong or just not so good, things that may have been holding me back in some subconscious way. I’ve done a fair amount of new writing, working on a few scenes I’d skipped the first time around, I’m shifting the order of things a bit, and I’ve still got some new material I need to add. I’m hoping that by the time I edit up to the point where I left off, I’ll have gained a stronger sense of what of I’m working toward and will be able to push through that block. I think I will. New ideas have already started coming to me.

So yeah, I didn’t stick to my short-term goals, and I didn’t achieve my Round 1 goal of finishing this book and getting it out. But I am back to doing quality work and I feel a lot better than when we started in January.

My other Round 1 goal was to try to write a short story for the Kiss Me, Kill

Cover Art by HP Mallory

Me anthology. I hadn’t actually written anything short since college, and I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. It was hard to wrap my brain around that way of thinking. But as I wasn’t getting anywhere with Heroes ‘Til Curfew at the time, so I felt like it was okay to take a side trip, try to do something productive, and maybe get my writing brain working again.

Impulse Control Cover

Cover Art by Robin Ludwig

I really enjoyed writing it. It was fun and a lot less stressful than the novel. Most of my stress, ofcourse, is crap I put on myself, and I didn’t have to do that as much on a short story as the monumental amount of crap I have buried myself in over this sequel. So that goal was also achieved, was released in the anthology, and is being well received. I also decided to release that on its own, so it’s up for free at Smashwords and a few other places around the internet.

I’ll admit that I’m on the fence about Round 2, and that’s about the nature of me rather than about the nature of the challenge. These days, I kind of feel like the last thing I need is social pressure to meet my goals, you know? And the fact that I think of it as social pressure rather than community support shows the kind of place I’m still in right now.

What about you? Did you participate in Round 1? How did it go for you? How do you feel about signing up for Round 2?

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16 Comments

Filed under progress update

16 responses to “#ROW80 Wrapup

  1. Congrats! Sometimes we get lost in the details, but when all is said and done, achieving anything at all creatively is a big success. Sounds like you did that….

    See you in Round Two.

  2. I hope you do return in April – don’t think of it as pressure – it’s us appreciating each other, some have not posted often, some have had weeks of no production, it’s part and parcel of creation. But you know, you have acheived this round. Even if you posted you hadn’t done anything week after week it would still be fine because we all know those times – as an extra wow how did you manage without the machine all that time? I’m dreading going away for a week !!!!

  3. I agree with Alberta. No pressure. We aren’t all the same, and we all work at different speeds. Like she said, even if you post that you didn’t do anything, we’re all still here to encourage. Maybe you and I can get together again sometime during round two either in your town or mine. Or somewhere in between.

    Honestly, I don’t know if I could stay away from the internet completely for long. And for me, a week is long. LOL

  4. It was fun to write a short story, wasn’t it? Take a little side trip? I loved Impulse Control. Go you!!!!
    I didn’t meet most of my goals either. Whatevs. And I agree, I think of it as more social pressure than community. That’s why I’m only going to check in once a week, ease into things instead of jump right in full force like last time.
    I find that when I’m stuck, going back and editing from the beginning always shakes things loose too. And that way you’re being halfway productive. Good luck whatever you decide to do!

  5. I hope you come back for round 2. I miss you on the internets, but definitely do what’s most important for your story and sanity. Either way you’ll succeed because you are The Mighty Bischoff! Has a nice ring to it, no?

  6. Congratulations on getting back to doing quality work! I think of ROW80 as a challenge in which you can turn up or down the pressure as you see fit. I’m already fired up for the next round. Hope to see you there!

  7. I’m signing up for round two because I really enjoyed round one – but I didn’t put pressure on myself like you have. I’m glad you enjoyed working on the short story and it was probably just what your brain needed. Lots of people find it harder to work on their first sequel, but try not to think about other people’s expectations and learn to enjoy it again. Anyway, at least you’ve been working, you could have given up completely but you didn’t so well done. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Wow, I’d say you accomplished a lot! Hope you decide to participate in Round Two, I’d LOVE to see what you accomplish then. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Thanks everyone for all your encouragement about what I did get done and about signing on for Round 2. Kait’s away on yet another short road trip (I think they’re in their let’s drive around before we have kids and never go anywhere phase), and when she returns, she may well tell me that Round 2 is mandatory for me. Dunno, but that would be okay.

  10. I agree – row80 is not about pressure. Unless – that’s what an author wants it to be about. You’ve had a great success – you’re happy that you’re doing quality work. That’s a win!

  11. I think you’ve accomplished a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I think it’s safe to assume Round 2 is mandatory for you. lol

    I’ve been drifting away from the internet a lot lately too. So much coming at me from so many directions that I wasn’t accomplishing much anywhere. It’s been nice to silence some of the stimuli.

    I think I’m in for Round 2. I wasn’t going to, since I have major editing projects ahead of me this year, but now that I think about it, I can set my goals as editing, and I won’t have to go it alone, so to speak. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I can totally relate to not being sure I want social pressure to reach my goals. Halfway through round one my goal became changed from writing all the time to just digging myself out of an emotional hole so I could accomplish something by the end of the round.

    I think I’ll participate in the next round, but have one goal: have something written by the end of each week. Anything is better than nothing.

    • Belinda- digging myself out of the hole is where I have been a lot of time…um…this year, and account for a lot of my lack of measurable accomplishment, so I hear ya. I read a blog post recently, partly about building habits, that suggested making a goal of writing 5 words per day. Sounds ridiculous, but it’s about succeeding at the goal setting and training your brain, blah blah. It seemed all good and doable and stuff–I still haven’t done it.

  13. Sounds like you’re doing well, Susan! Hope to see you back for round two. And congratulations again on the anthology story!

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