October 26, 2011

Focusing Creative Juices: ROW 80 Check In

I've been in a creative groove this week. We hit our 200th post! Since we've only been blogging actively since May, I'm thrilled with our progress. I posted a flash fiction piece, Drifting Away, on Monday as part of Rachael Harrie's Platform Building Campaign. It was our third and last writing challenge. Yesterday, I found out this piece moved on to the next round of judging. Woo hoo!

So this should be a great check in, right? Well... I'm thrilled with how my creative juices are flowing, but I need to learn to direct them to my works in progress and not get so caught up in other endeavors. I like to finish things, and this makes short projects alluring... a check off my list. But I hear my novel characters yelling for me, and I need to listen to them and focus.

Lately, I feel like a kid in a candy store. Writing is my passion, but the last year I've really made it a priority for the first time. Thanks to the wonderful writing community, there are so many enticing learning experiences and chances to participate. I'm happy, but sometimes I don't know which way to turn.

How do you reign in your creativity and focus?

A quick A Round of Words in 80 Days update:

* I'm blogging and loving it. I do worry two blogs are a creative distraction from my novel. After October's Ultimate Blog Challenge commitment, I think I'll go back to four times a week posting on my main blog and two to three times a week on my book blog.

* I read some advice on organizing novel thoughts... use note cards to jot down scenes, pieces of dialogue, character traits, and other story elements. Then read through them as needed for inspiration. I'm going to start a note card file for each of my two works in progress. I'll carry them in my purse and add thoughts when I'm waiting on kids, etc. I don't always have blocks of time to write, and this will keep ideas circulating.

* I've been reading more, and love it. Reading inspires me to be a better writer.

Hope my ROW80 buds are doing well and finding their focus better than I have this past week.


Julie Glover said...

I've been reading about ways to hash out novel ideas also. I had an idea pop into my brain the other night. Using colored notecards, I jotted down scenes using the colors to show where they would go in the novel. It worked well.
As for focus, my problem is usually tuning everything else out. If I get to that point, I grab my computer, head to the coffee shop, and work where there are no other demands tugging at me.
Best wishes for this week!

Liz said...

Congrats on 200 posts! And yes! Reading is so essential for a writer. Glad you're making time for that. Love the idea about notecards. I carry a comp book for that same reason.

Jaleh D said...

Those sound like excellent strategies. I keep a small notebook on hand for jotting stuff in. And congrats on your blog milestone!

Anonymous said...

Index cards or notebooks are a must! I never go anywhere without something to get my thoughts down be it a notebook, my iPhone, etc. Congrats on the 200 :) Here's to another 200 more!

ladymoxie said...

Congrats on 200 posts!! I use my email for posting ideas (I send myself messages) and I'm also a fan of post-its - though I need to find a better plan because they are everywhere. :)

Kristine said...

Congrats on your 200th blog post and here is to many more! *raises glass in a toast!* I like the idea about the index cards and think I am going to try that. I have about gazillion in my office which I never use for work, so I can put them to good use and stay organized. Yay for the reading too--I teach English 101 (a composition class) and tell the students that they can become better readers if they would just read more. Sadly, none of them do it, unless there is a test or quiz :( Good luck on your goals this week!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments and congrats.

I loved the note card idea when I read it (and I'll be using different colors, thanks for hte idea of colored ones, Julie).

Lena Corazon said...

200 posts is such an accomplishment! When it comes to organize my thoughts, I've been using a combination of Scrivener and my notebook of choice. I still prefer freewriting by hand (easier to focus that way), but once I'm through, I always type up my notes and organize things using Scrivener's virtual corkboard. Of course, somehow my desk still ends up littered with post-its and other tiny notes. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Congrats on moving forward with your goals. 200 posts since May is AWESOME! Woot Woot!

Have you tried #wordmongering for focus? It works great for me: writing in community (via twitter) for 30 minute chunks at the top of any hour you choose. Check out the hashtag!

And YAY for ROW80 working well!

Tia Bach said...

Lena & Julie, Wonderful ideas. I'll check into #wordmongering and the virtual corkboard. I'm intrigued!

Wendy Jane said...

Very good check-in. I agree, the support in the writer realm is wonderful. The note cards are a great idea. I have notebooks of all shapes and sizes EVERYWHERE, but I lose track of what was jotted down where. But it's kind of fun to pull out the old notebooks and review ideas.

Keep up the good work!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Wendy!