ROW80, Round 2 Check-In #8 – April 28, 2019

A day late again. Sorry.

The last few days have been quite busy. I’ve had several projects on the go that I needed to finish, which all took away from my writing time.

A cousin of mine had asked me to make a very unique cake/cupcake stand for her sister-in-law’s wedding reception. It’s an outdoor reception, with a “Lumberjack” theme, so I had to do some “Chainsaw Art”, something I’ve never done before. I spent most of the latter part of the week working on it, as it took a while to find a suitable log. In the end, I had to have a friend help me cut down a thick branch from one of my own trees. I do have to admit, I’m rather happy with the results.

I spent the better part of the weekend doing taxes (in Canada, the tax deadline is April 30th, not the 15th like in the US). I do them for all four of us in the house. They’re relatively easy, but still a hassle.

The week before last, I checked out a writer’s group that meets every other Tuesday. They’re more of a critiquing group than a social one, and they invited me to submit a passage to critique. I’ve decided to submit the first 2000+ words of my draft, so I spent some time editing and polishing the passage. Editing is something I initially avoided doing. I didn’t want to start editing my current work until it was completed, but I just couldn’t bring myself to submit anything in such a raw form.

I’ve even let someone else read it, which was really nerve-wracking for me. That did help quite a bit with the proof-reading though, so I am glad I did it.

I’m very nervous about submitting this passage. While I’ll be grateful for any help and advice I can get, it’s always difficult for me to stay objective about any type of criticism, even if it’s meant to be constructive.

But, I have no choice now. I’ve emailed the copy to the group, so that die has been cast. I’ll have to deal with the aftermath.

Otherwise, things have been rather quiet. I’m still trying to get myself back on my work-life schedule, which hasn’t been easy because of the frequent layoff weeks we’ve been getting since the fall. I’m really hoping we work straight through until our summer shutdown in July, but if I do get another week or two off, it will give me some extra time to work around the house and finish up some other languishing projects.

I’ve fallen short of my daily writing goal most days since the last Check-In. I’ve tried to write every day, and am inching towards the climax of the story, but it’s still slow going. Someday, this monstrosity will be finished, I promise.

Because of all of the other projects I’ve been concentrating on, I kind of blew off writing for most of the weekend. Since my last blog post, I’ve only managed to write another 1000 words or so. I’m hoping to get back on track this week and get closer to finishing this thing.

We’ll see, though.

So, on to this Check-In’s Goal Breakdown…

Goal #1 – Get Healthy

Again, having to work on other projects this weekend has kept me from finding any time to exercise (excuses, I know), but I did remain active. I also made a real effort to eat healthy, so at least there is that.

I’m still working on giving up a few vices, weekends working in my shop tend to be when I partake in those the most, so now that I’ve finished some of my projects, I’m going to try to concentrate on kicking a few bad habits.

Goal #2 – Finish My First Draft

Since the last Check-In, I’ve written another 1000 words. Being so busy on the weekend really cut into my writing time. I want to get back on track this week and push closer to finishing this manuscript.

The word count for the draft so far sits at 180,994.

Goal #3 – Write At Least Three Articles/Essays

As before, I’m saving this goal for when I finish the first draft.

At this point, I think it’s better to just plow through and finish this project before I start any others.

Goal #4 – Start Editing

I broke my commitment to not edit until I finished the draft because of my decision to submit a passage for critique to my writing group this coming Tuesday.

I’ve done some polishing, proof-reading and editing, to the submission, because I really didn’t want to submit something that was truly “raw”.

I think it’s good. Better than I had feared it would be, actually. One thing I really do like, as did the person I let read it, is that the tension in the passage builds up very well. I know it still has a ways to go, this is only the first pseudo-edit after all, but I have to admit I’m kind of proud of it.

I’ve also managed to cut the original word count down by around 20%, which is great.
I’m hoping the other members of the group enjoy it and offer some really constructive advice.

We’ll see how that works out.

Goal #5 – Read at least Two Books

I started on Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty, a sequel to his Sherlock Holmes tale The House of Silk. I really liked the first book, and am anxious to read this one.

I’m only about 20 pages in so far, but the story starts off with a bit of a twist, and it’s already drawn me in. I really think I’m going to enjoy this one.

Goal #6 – Read/Watch One Article/Video on Writing Every Day

I’ve continued to watch/read vlogs and blogs related to the craft of writing since the last Check-In and got some great advice and encouragement from each one. They’re listed below…

Cheat Sheets For Writing Body Language – Amanda Patterson

Why You Don’t Need To Put Everything In Your Book – Amanda Patterson

Ian Rankin’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction – Amanda Patterson

BAD FANFIC WRITING HABITS You Need To Break – Alexa Donne

Well, that’s it for me this Check-In. Hope you’re all doing well.


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