Sunday, January 8, 2012

ROW80 Goals and a Big Accomplishment!

I'm a little late jumping into ROW80 this round, but with good reason.  Well good reason in my view anyways!  But before I get to that, I will set out my goals this round:

  • Write 1500 words, a minimum, at least 5 days per week
  • Work out/get moving 5 days a week
  • Blog weekly
  • Comment on a minimum of 3-5 blogs every week
  • Work on becoming more present on twitter
Along with these I am still holding the line with my 'get organized' battle.  Slowly but surely I am getting rid of the clutter in my life and finding more time to enjoy myself.  Classes start next week, on the 17th, and I am vowing to keep ahead with those too.  I don’t want to get overwhelmed at the end of the semester. I refuse to let that happen again.  The twitter goal is oddly the one I'm most worried about. I often really have nothing to say or add, so I keep quiet and just watch what scrolls by.  I need to put myself out there more, I know that much. So hence the 'work on' part of that goal. I will hopefully define that goal a bit more as I move forward this round, but for now, that will do.

So that's it for ROW80 goals. I will be heading over tomorrow to see how everyone is doing-can't wait to see what y'all are working on.  Oh and, feel free to stop reading now since the rest is non-ROW80 related. Or if you'd like, read on and learn why this is my first ROW80 post for this round.

For the past few weeks I've been finalizing my short story--learning to use GIMP, making a book cover,  having my writing professor read it, reviewing the feedback, tweaking where needed, and then…finally…it happened.  Today, I hit the publish button at Amazon.  Scariest thing I think I have ever done, but well, no turning back now.  It's done; out there, for the world to see if they choose.  (Well at least in about 12 hours it will be according to kindle direct publishing!)  Writing this story took a lot out of me.  It was probably the hardest thing I'd ever written.  The main character's raw, unbridled emotion really wore me down.  But her story needed to get out there-or at least out of me.

Couple things to know about me and about this story.  It's a real departure from what I normally write. I am not a writer who focuses on the happy, joyful stuff. I'm more dark and twisty which is evident I think in the short story.  I also resisted writing this for a long time.  I was swamped with work and had a few other WIPs I was trying to finish first.  But somewhere along the way, this character kept nagging at me, basically forcing me to put fingers to keyboard and get it out of my head.  And I did that, but, I had to learn a few things--namely getting comfortable writing in the first person.  I never ever write in the first person. I am more comfortable in the third person, but for this it didn't work.  The voice and tone just didn't sound right. So this is, not only my first published short story, but also the first time I've ever written in the first person.  Talk about a double freaking whammy of stress.      

Lastly, I was going to pull it, and not publish the thing at all.  As I was working on the cover I found myself frustrated with the content,  wanting to hit delete more than a few times and just start fresh.  But thankfully common sense prevailed.  One thing I've learned in this process is that I will never be satisfied with the finished product. I seem to always find something that could be changed or improved. But what I've come to learn is that sometimes we just have to let go.  I had to just STOP and listen to that voice in my head and the voice of my professor, who in his words said, "just publish the thing damn it".  I'm fairly certain the world will not end by the addition of my short story to the selection already out there.  So throwing my self-doubt aside, I did it and…feel good  about it. I won't look at it, or the page itself, for a little while though.  Instead I will just celebrate putting myself, and my writing out there.  If people like it, I will be thrilled. If not, that's okay too.  I am growing a thicker skin about what people think of me and my writing.  And I think it's about damn time.  Maybe the main character isn't the only one learning valuable life lessons in this process.


  1. i have the same issue with twitter! i really like reading people's posts, but don't tend to overshare ;)

    i think once you get in the swing of it, you'll tweet more, though. i hope to be more of a presence as well.

    good luck with your goals this week - and on organizing!

  2. Congrats on hitting that publish button. With all you poured into the piece, I'm sure it will be well-received. Wishing you tons of luck!

    Great ROW80 goals. Looking forward to seeing your progress, and hearing more about your WIPs and this one that you just published.

    Huge high five!

  3. How exciting about your publishing!!!! Well done you, I can imagine it is a terrifying step. I know what you mean about twitter....I just tend to say random things not expecting anyone to respond so when they do it is a pleasant surprise!

    Have a great week and glad you are joining in this round!

  4. Strong goals :) Don't let Twitter get you. Just read the tweets and jump in where you feel comfortable. Great job on putting yourself out there!

  5. @Gina C.--I tweeted more yesterday! I was all happy and didn't feel...well weird about it, lol. So I guess it's just baby steps on that front!

    @Tia--thanks. It was just a short story but I figured it would be easier publishing something like that first before this book I'm almost done with. Maybe when this is ready it won't be so scary since I've already broken the ice a little bit!

    @Em--thank you! So glad to be back in the afternoon sprints with you, Nicole, Lauren and the rest. Hope to see you there often!

    @Ryan-thanks Ryan, and yeah I'm just dipping my toes in twitter. And being careful about hashtags, as in I rarely use them for fear of spamming people a million times with my silly stuff lol!