September 18, 2011

Learning to Read: ROW 80 Check In

Tonight, I sat patiently, okay maybe not so patiently... let's go with diligently. Tonight, I sat diligently doing flashcards with my six-year-old. The same 30 words we go over several times a week. She starts out on a roll, tearing through word after word, her confidence building. Then she hits a more difficult word, she stumbles a bit, but she gets it. A few more words give her trouble. They are the same words we've been over and over. I try to stay calm.

It's my third child. I know it takes time and practice, but we both get frustrated. By the end of the cards, we are both exhausted and ready to be done. With my first daughter, I remember thinking she might never read. One night we sat reading Hop on Pop for the sixth or seventh night in a row. Her little sister sat beside us, just happy to be in the room. When she stumbled on the word "all" the same place she always did, I told her, "remember, we read this yesterday." She started hitting the book, but her younger sister calmly said, "all, sis, it's all."

Tonight's exhausting flash card session ended up making me feel better. I realized I have thrown myself into a whole new world of blogging daily, the Twitter universe, Facebook as a writer (not just to announce my new favorite nail polish), dedicated writing, author building campaigns, flash fiction... the list is never ending. At first I was gaining momentum, taking the easier routes. As I gained confidence, I took on more, had a few setbacks. It's a lot to take in.

Sometimes I'll blog for two to three days and the ideas will flow, then day 4... nothing. Same with writing. The words will come pouring out of me for pages, then they'll slow down and often come to an abrupt halt. I seem powerless against the creative beast who taunts me with flashes of brilliance followed by moments of defeat and exasperation.

Do you ever feel this way? 

A Round of Words in 80 Days has been a wonderful outlet for me to discuss writing woes or struggles and get amazing support and wonderful tips. I am so grateful.

Question for my writer/ROW 80 friends... Mom and I work by alternating writing chapters. I don't like to work too far ahead because it throws off our rhythm and causes a lot of reworking and discussing. Should I start another novel I've had brewing, and work on that when I'm not working on our follow-up to Depression Cookies?

I don't want to over-tax my writing brain. I thought about joining NaNo to move along my solo project, but committing 50,000 words in one month to that might leave my other piece high and dry... advice, please.

My biggest goal for the following week: I slacked checking on my fellow ROW 80 buddies this week, so I'm going to visit and comment on every single person on the Linky Tool below before Wednesday's post. Wish me luck!

Please join me and visit these inspiring writers here.


Elizabeth Mitchell said...

Oh, Tia. Nerve struck *pinging resonance*
So before I answer your first question, I'll answer the second. I would start the second novel, but NOT for NaNo--I have avoided NaNo because it seems so inflexible and I do not have the personality to say "eh, whatever I get done is fine."

Put me in that situation and I want that 1600 words every day, no matter what. Um, that way lies madness, um, for me, more madness. And when I don't make it (baby sea-turtle steps writer here), I will beat myself up. But that's me, and your mileage may vary.

I would start on it, just to have something to keep the writing going, the characters talking to you as you have time.

Okay, first question. I live in some sort of Sartre's hell, where I can have a) brilliant ideas, or b) time to write at my snail's pace, but never both!!!

I have three stories in a file cabinet, in prose-y outline. I have two more whose characters haunt me nightly. I thought of four more blog posts and two more novel ideas while in the car for several hours earlier today.

Now when I get all the work writing done, I will ask those nice characters to come back and they will sulk. I will open my file drawer to read dreck, utter dreck.

I have called this the conga line of my writing life. Can I relate? All too well!

Marie Andrews said...

I am guilty of starting out strong and then at some point I peter out. I'm just not always to keep up with that momentum. I don't find blogging all that easy, but I think it's because there's a part of me that after I share for a little while, I feel the need to pull back...the need for some privacy. Then I have to work through that and get back on that blogging trail, lol.

If you have a story in your head, I do think it's a good idea to work on it during your spare time. Even if that's only for 15 minutes a few days a week, or whatever works for you :)

Hope you have a great rest of your week and hope to see you for round 4 of ROW80!!


Tia Bach said...

Marie & Elizabeth. Thanks for the encouragement (and empathy). You've both inspired me to give some love to my other story. It feels like cheating on my sequel characters, because I know them so well. But I need to spread my wings. I won't keep writing about the original characters forever.

Thanks for the support. I love ROW80!

Anonymous said...

Could you begin the new novel as a kind of recreation? Playing with some "no-pressure" writing can sometimes help break the blocks you run up against in a current project.

Em said...

If you think you can manage it I definately think you should start your story idea. I would love it if you did NaNo but totally appreciate that the pressure would be huge with your other project and putting your book to one side for a month doesn't make sense if it is going well and will probably stress you out!

I look forward to seeing you in Round 4!

Tia Bach said...

Kathy, I love your idea!

Em, That's my fear. I don't want to do NaNo without being fully committed, and I don't think I can lay down my other piece for a whole month.

Thanks for stopping by!