Sunday, 31 July 2011

ROW 80 Check-in 31st July

Ok, we are four weeks in and I have met all my goals this week! For four weeks I have met all three of my goals each week. For a moment I questioned whether I had challenged myself enough with my weekly goals. Just to recap they are:

* Complete the weekly Fiction Friday prompts from (on 'our writing prompts' page).

* Spend 30 minutes a day on writing or writing related activities (e.g. planning, researching, revising). So in a week I am aiming for 3 and a half hours of dedicated time. If I miss a day I will try and make up that 30 mins elsewhere in the week.

* Post ROW80 check-ins on Sunday and Wednesdays and also one additional post a week. So three posts a week.

I started thinking I should change my goals, maybe aim for more time spent writing but I have decided against this. I have had to work to reach my goals each week, it hasn't happened easily. I have got up early to write (fairly unsuccessfully I might add!) and stayed up late to write. I have written in coffee shops, in bed, on trains and buses. I have been frustrated when some days have not allowed me to write but have managed to make it up on other days. I am actually writing which I never did before, I just thought about writing. I am going to keep my goals the same but hope to exceed the 3 and a half hours of writing related activity a week. I am going to try and see 3 and a half hours as a minimum, not a limit.

However, I am going to add in another goal which is slightly writing related. I am adding in the goal:

*To exercise atleast twice a week.

I have realised that when I write I eat. I drink a lot of coffee. I snack. I need to start exercising as I do feel sluggish and if I make it a goal here it is a lot more likely to happen!

So, back to check-in and this week. Very exciting development this week is that I have actually started writing the WIP that I have been planning, outlining and developing characters for! The fear was getting huge and I have to say I wrote the first line and thought 'That is hideous!' My plan is to get down the main story in the chapters I outlined but I can tell I am racing through the story and I have to add in lots of detail, dialogue etc. I may go back and edit bits as I go but I am writing it which is a huge accomplishment for me!!! After writing my post on location I have decided to make up a town in my first draft and see how it goes. If it doesn't go well then I can always make changes during editing etc.

On Thursday I spent 40 minutes writing it (need to think of a working title) and wrote 687 words and added some details into my outline. On Friday I spent 10 minutes plotting the timeline of the relationships involved, read through what I had written on Thursday (not editing though) and then 22 minutes writing 608 words.

On Saturday I spent just over an hour writing and wrote 1,249 words making a grand total of 2,544 so far! I am making lots of notes in my WIP notebook as already I want to change the order of chapters and move things around but I am going to persist with writing a bit more before I start editing. If I do any writing today then I will be exceeding my 3 and a half hours (I think I already have by a little bit) so that is a bonus.

Thing are going well but I have some things coming up that may interfere with my achievement streak so am trying to work out how I can still meet my goals. I had a lightbulb moment about when I am away for 5 days. I am going with friends who know nothing about my writing and I am not ready to tell them. I do not want to miss 5 days but I am going to be sharing a room so it may be tricky. I am going to take my WIP notebook and print out my children's stories and maybe what I have for my WIP and maybe do some editing as this can be done anywhere and does not rely on a computer. That is my plan! When I get back I have friends coming to stay so again my writing will be a covert operation. We will see how it goes!

Hope week 4 has been good to you. As usual am off to check out some check-ins!


  1. Congrats on meeting your goals! Adding the exercise is an excellent idea. I've done the same in this round and the difference it is making for my mental attitude, health and energy is beyond measure.

    Best of luck in the coming week :)

  2. Em,
    I've been thinking about adding exercise as well. I'm finding the same as you--writing makes me too sedentary, especially as my day job is very sedentary.

    As for covert work, printing things out works for me. I can always pull the pages out when I have a minute or two; it adds up more than I thought!

    Have a lovely week!

  3. Yay, so happy to hear that you've been meeting all of your goals! Like Nancy and Gene, I'm also trying to get back to exercising. It sort of dropped off the radar over the last couple of weeks, and now that I'm settled at my parents' for the rest of the summer, I've got to start moving around. I have a goal to shed the pounds I gained when I got to grad school, so I need to get started!

    I'm so happy to hear that you've started writing. Your process sounds a bit like mine. I'm currently trying to just put the words on the page, while keeping a mental list of all the things I'm going to have to go back and edit. But it feels good to move through the tale, and to not get bogged down in too many details, at least at first.

    Using a notebook, as well as marking up printed out copies of your WIP, definitely sounds like a good idea. I have been known to disappear during gatherings to 'get some air' or 'run to the bathroom' in order to jot down ideas, lol. But have fun while you're away!

  4. Great to hear that you've begun writing the story that you've been planning. It's another step towards your goal of a finished novel.

    I understand your desire to keep your writing to yourself, at least for a time. But I think you'll discover that friends and family will be supportive. I happen to have four sisters and four brothers, so there's no such thing as a secret in our family. It's like CNN with us.....once one of us knows a thing, we all know that thing. Ha!
    Best wishes for success with your new goals, too! Fitness seems to be the topic of the week around ROW80 participants. (Maybe it's a good hint....)
    Have a good week ~ Nadja

  5. It seems exercise amongst writers is a bit of a recurring theme! I guess when you are doing something like writing which forces you to be still for long periods moving is important!

    I think I will be using the 'I need to get some air' line Jamila! I am assuming as we are going on kind of a chill out break with swimming, walking in woods, reading planned there will be times I am alone. We don't go till next Monday so hopefully I will build up lots of my WIP to print and take with me.

    I am thinking about telling my friends and family Nadja, we will see! At the moment I like having something that is mine, my little secret!

    Have brilliant weeks!

  6. You are so awesome! Congrats on hitting all of your goals :) It sounds like you've made very reasonable and doable goals...and if it's a bit of a stretch to hit're on the right track. It's very positive to hit those goals in the end and I think helps motivate to keep hitting them. The downside happens when you get ahead of yourself and stop making those goals at all.

    I can relate with exercise. I'm waiting for the morning when I wake up wanting to jostle my body around. So far I just make myself do it, even if it's only for 20 minutes. Wish I enjoyed it, lol.

    Hope you have a successful week!!