ROW 80 Update – 8-3

So as part of this ROW 80 Writing Challenge all of us have to post updates every Wednesday and Sunday on our progress towards on our writing goals. Mine was to write 500 words – of just my novel – a day. And read a book a week. And I started late – most people started July 4th and I started July 31st – so this is my first “update.”

So how’d I do?

Hahaha. Well.

I blogged every day. Each post was something like 700-1000 words…

I went to work, ran even when it was 95 degrees outside…

Except for today, which I took to do laundry and PACK ahead of time so I’m ready when I go back to my home and leave DC on Saturday (after a traumatic packing experience in which I had less than a week’s notice that I’d gotten a job and had to empty my DORM room in one day… or should I say an afternoon till 5:30 AM…) (I did walk for an hour to come back from work though!)

I have also been thinking about my novel and making some decisions about character development, and sat at my computer for half an hour trying to write more than 300 words from one day…

Let’s just say that my writing goal might have been too ambitious for this week.

(I think part of the problem is that I’ve planned out so many scenes and I’m trying to write scenes that I haven’t ‘seen’ in my head or planned out completely yet, because they happen ‘first’. Tonight I’m going to try telling the story of this character I just thought of weeks ago, who I can visualize and whose scenes I can ‘feel’ right away, if this makes sense…)

BUT I’m keeping it as it is now, because of this:

To get into the routine of exercising regularly (5-6 days a week), I had to tell myself to exercise EVERY DAY first. Did that for almost two weeks, before I read somewhere that you had to take breaks. The week before I started on that? After a month of no exercise at all? I went running outside, a grand total of three times in a week. And did quite a bit of walking. I see that week now as my ‘transition’.

If I want to be a serious writer, I need to make myself work on this novel (as in the writing CRAFT and not just the plot) every day. So I see this week as my own ‘transition period’ – we’ll see how long it takes until I get in the hang of it. Today I’m working on at least 500 and up to 2000 words… but I won’t go crazy trying to catch up at this point. Slow and steady wins the race? Mayyyyyybe?

Time to read other ROW 80 updates, dry my laundry, and start writing!

(this music below would be like the background to the climatic scenes that I’m probably going to write tonight – yes, even that ending part fits! – if only I had the as much skill in writing as Yoko Kanno does in composing…)

4 responses to “ROW 80 Update – 8-3

  1. In “Chapter After Chapter” Heather Sellers write a piece about traveling with a book. Her point is that it takes scaling back to what is doable and some serious planning but that traveling with your work in progress is a good idea.

    Life changing event, moving, new jobs, birthdays, all can break a nice writing flow. Just don’t forget that you want to do it and make space for it again as soon as you can.

    • Thanks for the advice! I suppose I’m just setting an ambitious goal to build up to, as I have not written regularly before but want to start in earnest. It’s been hard to find time now, but it’ll be perhaps harder during school too. So I am giving myself some leeway now since starting, but I’ll adjust my goals by Sunday if need be!
      Good luck on your writing goals as well! =)

  2. Who says you I have write scenes in order? I don’t! I write my key scenes for my plot points first. When I have ideas for scenes I’m not ready to write yet I brainstorm it in a notebook in short snippets of dialogue/action/image, leaving plenty of space in the margins for notes,so I can write it later. Sometimes when I’m stuck I’ll work on one of these brainstormed scenes instead, so I still get my writing in.

    Good luck with your goals the rest of the week!

  3. Hello Marcela, read your recent blog and im listening to the music – it is very interesting – wish I could choreograph a dance to it! So you are doing the challenge, that is great!!! You are amazing and should be very proud of the work, the discipline and the way you expanded from your comfort zone – to spend weeks in Wash DC instead of staying at MIT for the summer – go girl!!!

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