Hit my first reward!

I am still humming along, hitting my most important goal of putting in time writing for every check-in.  I have a schedule of rewards, and I write down each time I spent some time working, like a little time card. I just passed 10 hours this ROW – which means I can get my first reward! I had planned for a candle to burn during writing time, but since I am mostly writing on the go these days, in coffee shops or during opportune nap times, I am not sure it’s the best reward. I need to think of some more! I am still hoping to get to my 50 hour reward – my Etsy jewelry purchase.

What would you do to reward yourself for your hard work at writing? Any ideas for my rewards?

Here is how I’m doing with each goal in particular:

Writing / Editing:
Goal: 30 minutes of anything twice a week! – I am WAY overachieving on this goal. Got in another hour and a half!
Stretch goal: Finish revising 2 scenes per week, Think of 2 new story ideas a week! – Just part of one scene, but that’s good enough for me!

Exercise: 
Goal: Yoga once a week, Walk twice a week, Ab exercises everyday! – Yoga class was great, and I am even a little sore. I am NOT sore from the ab exercises I’m not doing however. ;-]
Stretch goal: Strength train once a week, Lose 10 lbs by Fall. – Still workin on it…

Although I am still struggling to hit all of my exercise goals, I feel like I may need to up them. This is just not much exercise to help me lose weight, especially since I can’t seem to keep myself from eating like horse while still breastfeeding and not getting the best sleep…. But that’s life!  The question is how I can fit in more exercise with Baby….  We shall see!

Later, alligators!

Chug chug chug

Tonight I’m exhausted after a long day of lugging the babe around the Zoo. He’s still quite young for it, but when we take him out and about and he gets to observe people and things, he’s just SO happy at the end of the day. It melts the heart. =) So although I’m tired enough to only want to play video games… it’s worth it. Good memories! And since I made some progress earlier in the week, I’ll let myself have this relaxation time!

Here is my ROW80 check-in.

Writing / Editing:
Goal: 30 minutes of anything twice a week! – Check! 2 Hours this time!! YESSS!
Stretch goal: Finish revising 2 scenes per week, Think of 2 new story ideas a week! – I think I did get two scenes this week, but no story ideas… Gotta keep trying!

Exercise: 
Goal: Yoga once a week, Walk twice a week, Ab exercises everyday! – Yoga was missed because I was sick by a horrible stomach flu, and ab exercises completely went by the wayside (unless throwing up counts – lol). But walking has hung in there! I went walking in the park with Baby, and we also took him to the zoo and walked the day away today!
Stretch goal: Strength train once a week, Lose 10 lbs by Fall. – No progress… Abs come first!

So far, so good!

A quick update on my ROW80 goals progress!

Writing: Got an hour of revision and reading in tonight! I’m enough out of practice that I need to become reacquainted with my story – but it’s great reading it with fresh eyes!

Exercise: Went to yoga yesterday! Need to start Ab exercises….

Overall a good start to the round!

Been a little… busy!

So this blog has gone a bit cold for a while, but I swear I’ve had a good reason. THIS:

little hand

Earlier this year, I gave birth to my first child, a lovely baby boy.  So unsurprisingly this did set back some health and writing goals, but I think it was worth it. ;-] However, I’ve just started to be able to make time for writing and such again. So here goes nothing, I’m going to try to start out slow. But it’s a total coincidence that this is just at the end of the last day of this ROW! So I can start fresh with the next one.

Here goes nothing – wish me luck!

Progress!

Well, this week I finally rewrote that big scene that’s been scaring me.  In the end, I ended up making it two scenes.  I’m not sure how it came out, but it’s certainly a start.  Hopefully I don’t completely hate it upon rereading in a week or so!  It’s a fight scene, and that might have been why I was a little intimidated.  I haven’t written many, especially not one with a lot of mystery going on and not a lot of clear you vs me conflict.  Hopefully it turned out okay!  I found this interesting article with tips for writing fight scenes, if anyone is interested.  Several were not that helpful, but I liked that one!

I missed Wednesday’s check-in, so on to my status for this week….  I only managed half an hour of editing on Tuesday, but that was better than nothing, and today I got in a whole 3 hours!  So that leaves me close to my goal at 3.5 hours for the week!  Works for me.  I’m really happy to be making progress again.  Feels SO good.

For exercise, overwhelming fatigue curtailed the gym on Monday.  First time I’ve missed in ages!  I went home after work and slept straight through till the next morning – lol!  But I did go in on Thursday and get a light workout.  The upstairs of our gym, where the treadmills and ellipticals are, seems to be having an AC problem because it’s like 5 degrees hotter than the lower floor!  So even though I had planned to walk on the treadmill, instead I went and lifted weights instead.  Only now doctor’s orders is less than 10 pound weights, so I feel a little silly since I normally lift much heavier weights for bigger muscles like back and legs.  But I did lots of reps and tried to tell myself that variation was a good thing. =)  And the fatigue should be lessening any day now!

So all in all, a pretty good week. 😀
My goals as a reminder for myself:

  • Writing: 4 hours a week of editing. Complete at least one first pass of revising on one scene a week (and then some).
  • Health & Fitness: Gym twice a week. Bonus: Additional cardio once a week.

New Goals for this ROW

Well, I’m a bit late to this round, but I’m not sitting out!  I discovered something lately that has probably been contributing to why I haven’t been getting my editing done — or much of anything else — but it’ll be a few more weeks before I can mention it. ;-]  The good news is, by then, it should be gone!

In the meantime, here are my new goals:

  • Writing: 4 hours a week of editing. Complete at least one first pass of revising on one scene a week (and then some).
  • Health & Fitness: Gym twice a week. Bonus: Additional cardio once a week.

And that’s it!  I want to focus down on what matters most this ROW.  I’m not getting any younger, and I want to see this novel in at least a form I feel proud of presenting! ;-]

Before I started ROW and while I was still trying to finish my first draft, I had also tried establishing some rewards for big word count milestones.  That really helped, so I think I’ll try it again for this ROW!

My Rewards:

  • 10 hours editing: A slice (or two!) of cheesecake (without guilt!)
  • 20 hours editing: Gratuitous notebook or CD purchase!
  • 30 hours editing: Special candle to burn while writing
  • 50 hours editing: Pedicure at a spa
  • Finishing a first pass edit on Mage Slave: priceless.  Just kidding! Reward is: Etsy jewelry purchase! woo hoo!

For today, I spent 2 hours editing, sitting outside on my patio swing while the hubster built a small fence to shade our air conditioner.  We both had a great time.  =)  Now I hope to do an hour or two more!

ROW80: Stumbling along…

Some updates on my current ROW80 goal progress:
  • Writing: Again, no editing progress. I’m stalled! Need to get that routine going again.
  • Health & Fitness: Gym holding steady – can do some great chin-ups now! Eating pretty much out of control. Need to get back on the wagon!
  • Game: Got the game’s menu drawn out and fully designed. Progress continues plodding along.
  • Reading: Again, big success!  Mostly just to say I checked something off my list before the end of the ROW, I focused down and finished Story Engineering.  Well worth the read, especially if you’re feeling a need to learn more about plot and structure as I was.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!

Quick Row 80 Checkin

Feeling good today!  I worked 11 hours today at work (I have an office job and am only required to work late, but you know, deadlines come up, argh) and I still had the energy to write when I got home!  Woo hoo!

Since I was late checking in on Sunday, this is kinda short.

  • Writing: 2 hours again today of editing today, 4 hours for the week is pretty great so far!  Rewrote my opening scene in a way I’m really excited about.  I thought it was going to be a lot harder, or sometimes I rewrite the opening a hundred times and never like it, but I’m feeling like this one’s a keeper… =)
  • Health & Fitness: Hit the gym on Monday, have been tracking calories every day, dying of hunger!  (Just kidding it’s not that bad.)  Livestrong helps me so much with calorie tracking!  Although I think I’m discovering a few bugs in their mobile app… of course….
  • Game: No progress since Sunday but Friday will be epic-mega-awesome-productivity-time.
  • Reading: Have read a few pages of Story EngineeringIf You Want To Write: is on its way, due to be delivered tomorrow.  ❤ u, Amazon Prime!

Flyin high in this neck of woods.  What about you?  That’s it for this check-in!

Row 80!

I’m going to give this Row 80 thing a try!  Still trying to think of my goals….  Here’s what I’ve been up to in the (excessively) long time since I last posted.

Attempted and abandoned last year’s NaNoWriMo.  I don’t feel bad about this at all.  Here’s how it went down.

I was fresh off of finishing my first complete novel. (See below.) It’s working title is Mage Slave. I’d made a nice summary of revisions I needed to make, and I was torn between plowing through them, or giving it some time so that I read it freshly when I returned. I ended up going for NaNo and deciding to let my novel rest a bit, even though I suspected I wasn’t going to be very productive because I had no kind of plan at all for the overarching story structure. Like nada. This worked out great for a couple of reasons because it taught me several things:

  • I do need a bit of a plan.  Now that I’ve written to an ending and pushed all the way through to it, it feels to good!  I want to know where I’m going!  I am, apparently, a planner.  Also, index cards are awesome.
  • Science fiction is liberating! After having written so solidly and carefully in a fantasy setting for over a year, I was dying to stretch my legs. This taught me that I probably wouldn’t be happy writing 100% fantasy; fortunately that’s not terribly unusual. =)

I got a good start planning a new novel (a sci-fi romance). I used the pressure of NaNo to do a sprint of world building, research, characterization, and story building — but very little of it amounted to actual words that you could put towards a word count.  Then, as the holidays rolled around…

I started a company with my husband and a good friend of ours.

By day, I design software. I think about users and people and what they need and how to make that for them. But I do it for other people’s idea of who and what we should do. I want to make what I think people want, how I’d like to make it! ;-] Namely, we’re making games. We’re starting with a free game for iOS that will be fun to play completely for free but have some in-app purchases that can expand the experience (and thank the developers). Our first game is a fun little simulation game, but I’m hoping someday I can also write for one of our games that might be more action or RPG oriented. (But those are harder so we’re starting small. =)

This has taken up a lot of my time, but it’s the only thing I’ve every done that was almost as amazingly fun, fulfilling, and joyful as writing, so I can’t turn it down.  I also hope that it might be a quicker path to financial independence which might allow me to set aside a whole day a week for writing, or something like that.  Who knows.  The market is crowded, and many games flop, but when I’m with our team I’m overwhelmed with a feeling of, “Holy crap! We can actually do this!”  More on all this as we get it done…

Lastly, I’ve begun preparing to edit and revise Mage Slave.  I’m almost done reading Story Engineering, which has been a great book on craft.  I’m looking at my plot structure based on what I read. I’ve always thought I was kind of weak at plot, but actually my plot is standing up pretty well.  I’ve always thought I was pretty good at character, but I can see now my characters have some big holes in their backstory.  Well, I knew this all along, but now I see some opportunities to improve the story with it.  Man, knowing the ending is powerful!  Now that I know how the story has gone and turned out I actually feel great about going in to flesh out the details of their backstory to make the ending the most powerful ending it can be… =) woot!  So perhaps a little bit of pantsing is my style after all… (I wrote my first draft about 40% during crazed NaNoWriMo sprints… hence the need for a bit of revision hehe.)

So the ROW 80 goal of the week is…

  • Come up with better ROW 80 goals.

They’ll probably be something along the lines of…

  • Finish revising Mage Slave by the end of ROW 80.  Need to complete enough revisions to get it out to some friends to read.
  • Continue to go to the gym twice a week. Maybe add cardio once a week?  Maybe track calories every day?
  • Have all main screens for our game design by the end of this ROW?  Some kind of game-related goal.
  • Something about reading? I don’t read enough by any means.  Partially because I have a tendency to absorb whatever I’m reading and put it into my current WIP whether it makes sense or not…  We shall see.  The backlog of books I want to read is growing MASSIVE.

So that’s it!  If anyone has any advice on how to plan ROW80 goals when you’re primarily revising and editing, I’m open to ideas! 

New Year, New Blog

New discipline?  New novel?  New body?  ;-]  After seeing a few others doing this online, I’ve decided to keep a blog to keep track of the things I want to do better in 2011!  But first a recap of good things from 2010:

  • I married the man who taught me what love is really like, who makes my heart smile, my thoughts swirl, my lips sing, who fights by my side both in the real world and virtual ones.  We took an epic honeymoon to California Wine Country and Hawaii!  It’s hard to think of anything remotely close to that!!!  But I’ll try.
  • I wrote a mission statement for myself and tried to make my time match to those goals.  Still more to do here but the mission was the first step.
  • I took a writing workshop from Orson Scott Card that completely rejuvenated my writing habits.  I also got to tell him how much he has changed my life for the better.
  • I attempted NaNoWriMo and wrote about 37,000 words in a month. 
  • We bought our first car (full own, in cash, owe nothing kinda bought).
  • I gardened a ton and loved it. Hope the bulbs come up next year! 
  • I also got to meet David Tutera which was pretty awesome as well!  The way he helps brides is inspiring and wonderful.  Right up my alley like that. 

Well that’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure there’s more.  Here are the things I would like to do this new year:

  • Finish my first full novel
  • Lose 25 pounds and feel fit and healthy again
  • Continue to practice relaxation and manage stress like I did during my wedding
  • Better understand what I want from my life and match my time to it
  • Stay in touch with my friends better, and visit them!