Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Weds check-in: First for Round 3.

UPDATE Sunday night check in -- Shown in italics below. Very, very short this time, but I did make progress on the article that's due tomorrow for ROW80.  Hooray! 

Simpler seems so much more accessible, yet when I write, my goals seem to proliferate. So THIS WEEK, my goals are:

1. Continue work on revising Years of Stone. FINISHED Section 1.
2. Prepare The Mermaid Quilt for Smashwords. NO Progress at all.
3. Read Joanna Penn's How To Market a Book (and take notes). First chapter done.
4. Read Edward Lenox, Overland to Oregon for Rivers of Stone. No progress.
5. Write 2x blog posts.No progress.
6. Complete 2x crits for NOVELS-L. No progress.
7. Try the FAST DRAFTING daily (200 words, riffing from Rivers of Stone). 1x session = good enough to try at least 3 more times before Weds check-in!

I've picked up some useful ideas from reading what other ROW80 folks plan to do. But here are the three top ideas:
  • Fast drafting for a minimum word count.
  • Meditate before writing (even 5 minutes is good).
  • Decide on a topic and write blogs every week.

Other commitments for this week: Survive the heat. Continue work for Washington State Quilters (meeting this morning, meeting next week). Every day, cherish my dear family. Here's a pic of my granddaughter, just home from a week away on vacation, down to the Oregon Coast.

Leda Rose at the Beach (Nick, June 2013)

Do I have a focus for either of my blogs? The writing blog documents ups and downs on my various writing projects, research I find of interest, and the occasional poem. I'm not sure what would appeal to anyone there, so I just end up writing what's going on for me. Joanna Penn says to think about your audience and write to them. That a blog is another way to create audience.

My travel blog was begun to share travels with family and friends. But we don't travel quite as much, so I've renamed it "on the road and home again". Again, I'm really writing for me and am unsure what to post.

What do you think about when getting ready to write your blog? I'd love to know what other ROW80 folks think about when they write blogs. Do you have an audience? A focus? A specific strategy or commitment to a schedule for writing your blog?


  1. Ooh, I love setting meditation before writing as a goal. That's a fantastic idea.

    Best of luck with this round. You've got some good solid goals to focus on, I think!

    1. We each have different ways of getting to the point, that is the writing. Clearing out the chatter, all the distractions, is still a new way for me. Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. I love the idea of meditation before writing, too. I may have to try that. I took an intro to meditation class a while back and loved it, but I've so far not been successful at integrating it into my daily life.

    So far, my blog consists mainly of my ROW posts, and a "weekly" round up of writing related links. I started collecting those for my writing group and then moved to posting them on my blog as well. I'm hoping to tackle the blog next round - do some redesign and hopefully figure out some other useful type posts of some kind.

    Good luck with all your goals this round!

    1. Thank you for commenting! Yes, I agree, the challenge is integrating something new into every day. I read somewhere that it takes 7-20 repetitions to learn something new, so perhaps our setting aside that 5 minutes to start will take real 'muscle' only the first few weeks.

      I do have two blogs, but neither one seems to have a focus for me. I'm not sure who reads ROW80 posts except us ROW folks. But I was reading Joanna Penn's book "How to Market Your Book" last night. She said to write about the writing journey and/or our research on our blogs, and that strategy will help build readers for our books. So I'm going to be thinking about that. Thank you for helping me refocus!

  3. Meanwhile, 3000 miles away from you, we're getting rain. Oh well.

    I also set up my blog (one so far, anyway, and I don't plan on starting anymore anytime soon) primarily for ROW80 and various challenges (the April A to Z Challenge, primarily). I do have a regular feature, Two For Tuesday, where I find a couple of YouTube videos that feature music by an artist or band I like and post them along with something about them, but right now that's about it. I've had it for a year and a half and average about three posts a week, although that's usually two. I think I need to adopt your plan to blog a little more frequently...

    1. I like your Two for Tuesday approach. That's like a theme you can return to every week. Three posts a week sounds great to me. Various challenges also are neat because they're a way to not only prompt what we write but they connect us to others. I'm also thinking now about the difference between a professional blog (like those set up by authors specifically around their books) and personal blogs. Hmmm. Lots to think about here. Thank you for commenting. I have to write a 'motivational' article for ROW80 (due in 2 days!!!!), and I think you've all helped me find the topic!!!!

    2. Ooops! That's what happens when you press the ENTER key too fast. Also I like your idea of using YouTube as it's so visual. Again, picking out those bands you like connects you with a certain audience who will come back again and again to see what you say.

      I just made a YouTube video using Picasa and found out (after much gnashing of teeth) that I could add music AFTER I uploaded the video to YouTube. My other passion is quilting, so my video highlights quilts -- with music. You can see it over at

      Blog on!

  4. So I'm wondering how hot it gets there. So far, our hottest day near Houston was 106 degrees, which is not typical. But 90's is quite normal here.

    Anyway, good goals for ROW80! As to blogging, I write one day on words/language because I have a passion for that, and I have built a bit of an audience for that. The other blog day is whatever strikes my fancy. That said, once I have a book out, the focus may shift. Which is one of the beautiful things about a blog--how adaptive it can be.

  5. Hi Beth! Welcome to Round 3!

    I personally love the Fast Draft style of writing - whether it's Candy Haven's Fast Draft or Rachel Aaron's 2k to 10k, or any of the other quick writing techniques out there. Writing quickly breaks down all the pretenses you have about writing and just gets the words out.

    Of course, it really does make it so that you need to put a lot more effort into the actual editing... but oh well :)

    This week has been a nightmare for us Pacific Northwesterns, huh? I'm so glad the thermostat has finally calmed down... although apparently next week is going to get into the mid 80s again. Boo.

    Good luck to you on your goals for this week!

  6. Great goals, Beth!

    As for blogging, my blog is very much slice of life. I post about once a week or pretty much when I feel like it. I think that ROW80 stuff is probably the most regular post that I do. I do have occasional spots of brilliance when I do articles on self-publishing or branding, and I've gotten a small audience that visits for that. I agree with Julie, though. The beautiful thing about blogging is that it's adaptive and changes with you.

    I love fast drafting. It's my natural process, so it comes easy to me. It also helps when I do it in a group because my competitive spirit kicks in. :)


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