October 1, 2012

Embracing Chaos: ROW80 Round 4 Goals

Round 3 of ROW80 was not my finest round. Life seemed to pop up around every corner, surprising me with a delighted, "Got you again." I let it win.

Notice, I said, "I let it."

Sandi Tuttle
Today, I listened to a great Blog Radio show led by Sandi Tuttle: When Life Happens. Sandi has featured me on her show before, and she has a wonderful way of putting things into perspective in a very honest, but humorous, way. Today I felt like she was speaking directly to me.

The show was all about how life happens. She nailed life as, "chaos with occasional moments of sanity." So true, and it's time I embrace the chaos instead of simply wishing it wasn't reality.

I am guilty of all the things she mentioned. I make list after list, commitment after commitment, and then feel like a failure when I don't get everything done. I'll share more about her thoughts and my reaction on Wednesday's ROW80 update and Insecure Writers Support Group (#IWSG) post.

But for now, let me say sum up her advice... we all need to give ourselves permission to be human, to be flexible.

That's what this round is going to be about for me. Flexibility with focus, my new mantra.

My Goals for Round 4 of A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80)

Writing: I will put my butt in the chair and work on my two WIPs for a minimum of one hour a day, Monday through Friday. First thing. This comes before all my other goals, and is the one I will focus on.

I'm choosing Monday through Friday, because I want and need to focus on my family on the weekend. I looked at my almost-thirteen-year-old daughter this weekend and realized she's growing up WAY too fast. I don't want to miss it.

If, and only if, writing is done for the day...

Editing: Since this brings in money in between novels and freelance writing assignments, this is the very next priority. Once writing is done, I will follow a preplanned schedule of editing deadlines. I have written them out, but won't bore you with the details. I have a second read on a very exciting YA novel, a first read on a literary novel (15 chapters to go), and a women's literature piece.

Blogging: I'm going back to a Sunday (ROW80 update), Monday, Wednesday (ROW80), Friday schedule. I will try to use one day a week to prewrite posts. Again, ONLY after my WIP writing is done.

Reading: I truly believe this makes me a better writer, and I do have review commitments. I will plan to read in the evening and during kids' activities (thank you to my middle daughter for three-times-a-week swim practices!). Keep checking my reviews on Mom in Love with Fiction for some great reads.

Social Media: I hate that this is last on the list, but it needs to be. Only after I've done all of the above, will I visit blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It's too alluring for me, and often leads me into other to-dos. If I'm awhile getting around to say Hi, please know that I'm writing.

To my ROW80 friends, what are you doing differently this round?

Just in case you missed the first time, check out my radio spot with Sandi here.


Lauralynn Elliott said...

These look like sensible goals. Good luck with everything this round!

Jo Michaels said...

I'm with you! Writing comes first :) Get goin! LOL WRITE ON!

Unknown said...

I think you are very organized, and I absolutely love what you do. I am planning to really tell the world soon, too! :)

I am so glad you liked the show this week! You can come on and be my guest any time, any where!

Big hugz!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Love the description of "embrace the chaos." I tangled with this particular notion when writing one of my (published) books called Embrace the Whirlwind.

If life seemingly grabs us and whirls us around...we can let it win; or we can embrace it.

Good luck!


alberta ross said...

good goals - all the best with them - chaos is the very stuff of my life-I had to learn to embrace it (if a little reluctantly at times!)many decades ago:( but I do think it helps fuel my writing if I allow it's flow free passage.

all the best for this round:)

Cherie Reich said...

Lists definitely need to have some flexibility. Good luck with your goals!

Kim Switzer said...

Round 3 seemed to be rather rough and a little off for a lot of us, did you notice that? But, now we're on to the next!

I *love* "flexibility with focus." What a fantastic mantra! I love how you've prioritized your other activities for after writing is done. And I agree about the reading--I think it makes me a better writer, too.

Have a great Round 4!

Ainsley Shay said...

Good for YOU!!! Finding balance in our busy lives is difficult - but it sounds like you're heading in the right direction. And I'm really liking the "flexibility with focus" attitude!

Julie Glover said...

I've been flipping my priorities too--getting to the social media last. I feel bad when I get behind on blog reading, but I need to write first. Best wishes on your ROW80 goals! It sounds like your ordering things the way they need to be!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks everyone. I'm feeling really empowered by my newfound focus and learning to appreciate the small victories.