ROW80 – Round 4 – Check in #1

Buckle up! For the next 80 days, we are going to rock Wednesdays. First in the morning with some hard corn ROW80 progress reports and then in the afternoon, we’ll have a giggle fest with some urban word insanity!

That’s right. I’m going to be a super keener posting TWICE every Wednesday (ok, so I went a little nuts today and will post 3 times…it’s just cause I wanted to give more props to the Twitter Bash). Yes. I am fahhhbulous! You may call me Superwoman!

Let us delay no longer….

You can find a list of my goals here.

ROW80 Progress – 10/05/2011

Work In Progress Goals:

Blogging Goals:

  • I blogged 3 times this week, not including this post.
  • I read and commented on over 35 blogs.
  • I retweeted/tweeted on over 40 blog posts.
  • I reported on my ROW80 goals on schedule.


Before Sunday, I have to put in 5 hours towards constructing my outline; putting the first few chapters of the outline book into actual words and sentences. It’ll be tough with a very full holiday long weekend coming up but I’ll get it done.

I am feeling like a lot of my time is getting eating up blogging and tweeting. Now that I’ve found this ahhhmazing blogging community, I just want to read, comment and tweet to my heart’s content. There are so many uber bloggers out there and I am finding even more in my ROW80 gang. I can’t get enough of y’all! And thus far, without a WIP, it’s been manageable. 

But, I am realizing if I want to make appropriate progress on my WIP and attain success with my goals, I am going to have to manage my blogging/twitter time better. I’ll need to find a balance between work, play, WIP and social media fun. In the end, this likely means I am going to have to put a time limit blogging and twitter. Sniff…but I am having such fun!

How is your ROW80 progress going thus far? How do you manage to balance everything in life?

P.S. Sunday’s progress report won’t come in until Monday – sorry folks – I am heading to the camp for the long weekend and won’t have Internet access until Monday evening when we return. Pls forgive…



  1. Hi Natalie,

    Balance is always a challenge 🙂 Great job on a productive week!

  2. Your goals sound great! I had 3 writing books on my goal list for the last ROW80 round. I read Save the Cat by Blake Snyder (totally recommend it), Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (slower read, but the guts of this book are very worthwhile), and The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer (his lowdown on the business side is invaluable). I have Bell’s book on my next-reads list as well. Best wishes!

  3. Wow, it seems you’re off to a great start!
    Keep up the good work =)

  4. sounds like you’re off to a good start on your goals. I sometimes have trouble balancing getting everything done in the time I have between my youngest’s naps since I don’t always predict the right amount of time it will take me to write blog posts/comments. I just try to get in my writing on my wip done first, then worry about the social media type stuff and everything else. Somedays that means I don’t get to the other stuff though.

    • I really appreciate the feedback. It’s true, I think I’ll have to start putting in my WIP work first and then spending whatever time is left on the blogging and tweeting stuff. It’s all about prioritizing, eh?! Thanks for the visit and your kind words! 🙂

  5. Great beginnings on all fronts, Natalie! It’s smart to expect to have to adjust since your WIP is supposed to be the most important thing. But blogging is just so much fun, I know how hard it is to think about cutting back somewhere. Good luck!

    • You totally get it Marcia. I feel like my blogging right now IS my WIP! LOL! But you are right, putting the WIP first is key to making sure I don’t wonder off in play land forever never getting any other work done. 🙂

      • What, you’ve never heard of Blog-To-Book?? I think you could totally get some play with a conglomeration of your Twisted Tuesday posts. 🙂 You know people who have done this: “Are You There Blog, It’s Me, Writer” by Kristen Lamb is a wonderful example of this.

        • HAHAHA well thank you for the fantabulous vote of confidence. And heck, ya never know…I’ll just keep partying it up with all things twisted and see where it leads…lol!!!
          That Kristen Lamb is definitely one of my heros! Pavin’ the way! 🙂

      • I think Jenny’s on to something here! You have such a great concept here. Something to keep in the back of your mind…

  6. Hey, sista! You are ahmmmaaazzinggg! I don’t know how you do it all but you are my great inspiration. Thank you, thank you 🙂

    Congratulations on staying on track with ROW80. As for the books on craft I definitely recommend these:
    Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, by Mignon Fogarty (follow her on Twitter – she’s great!)
    A Dash of Style, The Art and Mastery of Punctuation, by Noah Lukeman
    The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman
    The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing by Meg Leder, Jack Heffron and the editors of Writer’s Digest.
    I’m sure you can get these from a local library or used books stores on line if you don’t want to spend a bundle. Good luck, darling 🙂

    • YOU ARE Awesome!!! Luv it Sista….thank you for all the encouragement and motivation!! The list if FANTabulous and I am adding them all to my wish list. YOU are the best – a million thanks and air-cheek-kisses!! 🙂

  7. Great job! I’m reading James Scott Bell’s book, Revision and Self Editing, right now and it’s great. Finding the balance between writing and being part of the writing community through blogging/tweeting is really challenging. I blog pretty regularly (2-3 times a week) but I limit my time on twitter and other social media sites because I just don’t have enough time. Good luck!

    • Thanks for stopping by Ghenet. I hear you – it’s tough and getting tougher by the minute. Finding balance in everything in life seems to be a constant juggling act but it helps to know that I am not alone in my struggle. Sweet on the book – I shall add it to my list! 🙂

  8. I think I already sent this today but I’m fuzzy because it’s a party day!!

    For brainstorming on your WIP:

    For Craft Books – my 1st post on my writer’s bookshelf:

    I hope they help!

    • Wonderful. I got them off the Twitter note but this will be way better in case I ever lose the links. Thanks Jenny – totally appreciate your help and resources! MUAH!!

      • Well, I somehow got a really extensive writing bookshelf. Books are the one thing I will spend money on. (Well, that and wine. 🙂 ) Other people should get the benefit of it too. I wish someone had shared those things with me when I was getting started down the “write a novel” route.

        One thing – if you write short (as I do), you might have to break down your book into smaller pieces so you don’t get overwhelmed or bored. You can take it down to the scene level if you need to. It could be that you’ll LOVE outlining and such but if not, I wrote every time I had in “Focusing on Your Story’s DNA” at Writers In The STorm.

        • That and wine – girl – you are my hero!! LOL!!!
          In all seriousness, thanks so much – I really appreciate your feedback and the wealth of knowledge you bring – I am in dire need. Honestly, I think I’ll love outlining. To the point I am scared that’s all I will do – outline books that I never write. LOL! But I am hoping once I am done outlining, I’ll be pumped to pull it all together. Either way, we are about to find out. I am honestly taking this first novel as a learning experience – permission to try anything and everything – go forward, go back, start again, do differently etc – since Piper so lovingly pointed out, it’s likely crap anyway so why not get a huge chunk of knowledge out of it! LOL!!!

          Anytime you have tips, tricks, or suggestions, you head right over here and SHARE!!! 🙂

      • meant to say “every TRICK I have”…

        Oy! Party hangover!!

  9. You’ve accomplished so much. You are right, tthough, the WIP comes first. But, I will say, the blogging and twitter makes us feel like we’re a part of something. I have to limit myself — totally missed out on the twitter party today (maybe it’s still going on) because work was crazy, and my breaks were taken up with writing a resume — that WIP had to come first today!

    • It’s nice to know that I am not the only one that struggles. You are so right that it’s easy to get swept away in blogging and twitter but without progress on the WIP, it’s not a fair trade. Good for you for sticking to your priorities. An inspiration.
      I actually, and you’ll be proud, shut down twitter and left the party last night at 8:30 so I could spend some time on my WIP. Wow. I’m getting there.

  10. You’re kicking butt already, Natalie! Great job, and having that space is so important. James Scott Bell’s book is good, and I think the best is Donald Maas’s Writing The Breakout Novel. Just don’t get too caught up in craft books because they can pull you away from the writing.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks Stacy! Yes, I’ve been eyeing the Donald Maas book.
      You know, it’s funny you should say that about getting carried away with craft books because I was just thinking that quite recently. It’d be totally in my nature to lose myself in reading about writing than actually writing. LOL! Again, it’s about learning AS I go so last night I yanked out the pad and pen, while I read, and took notes and started doing the exercises. Felt GREAT!
      Thanks for the great encouragement – I really appreciate it!

      • Jesse Lee Kercheval (Building Fiction), Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down The Bones) and Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) have the best exercises for someone starting out (in my opinion). I’ll be interested to hear what you find the easiest from all your recommendations.

        • FAHHHbulous – I just added them to the top of my list and will keep you posted when I get to them and what I think. Thank you…muah!!

  11. When you figure out the balance between social media and writing please SHARE! That’s one that I trip over repeatedly. As for recommended craft books (love Bell’s Plot & Structure) but I’d include Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

    Way to start Row80, Natalie!

    • Thanks so much Bridgette! Woot woot! I’ll let you know if I come across any great tips/tricks as I figure out the balancing act. 🙂
      Thanks for the fabulous books to add to my list. Always good to get some on recommendation by others.

  12. jkdeblieck says:

    Your blog is very easy on the eyes. I really enjoyed reading it. I have so many writing books that it is kind of ridiculous…lol. Randy Ingermanson has some great outlining stuff on his blog. I just finished a book called Plot vs. Character and it was very helpful. Also very easy to read with wonderful exercises to getting your book together. Looks like you are doing a great job of immersing yourself into ROW80. Hope you have a good week. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the blog compliments. I am thrilled you enjoy it! 🙂
      LOL – I can see that before the year is up, my pile of craft books is going to be a little crazy as well but oh well. LOL! I’ll definitely addy our suggestion to the list and will check out Randy’s blog. Thanks so much.
      Have a GREAT week!

  13. Congrats on blowing through your ROW 80 goals! As someone currently outlining, I’m eyeing that craft book on outlining…it’s on my Amazon wishlist now! I think I’m going to post about my outlining process today, btw. And I concur that your site is easy on the eyes – it’s very pretty, a great layout!

    • Wow – thank you! Have you done an outline before? I can’t wait to read your post on your experience thus far. This is my frist so I feel a bit like a fish out of water. Not really knowing what I am doing but just plunging straight ahead hoping for the best. So far, I love the book but I am looking forward to really getting into it! 🙂 Thanks for blog compliments – eeeeekkkeee…LUV it!! 🙂 Off to visit yours – happy day!

  14. Natalie, you are well on your way girl! Look at all the support you have on your blog! You are dead right about finding a balance between blogging and writing and it’s not always going to be easy so don’t be hard on yourself if you slip from time to time. Only human … even someone as AWEmazing as you! When you have time, read Stephen King’s book “On Writing:A memoir of the craft”. We Wana cheerleaders have our pom poms ready. GOOOOOOO Natalie!

    • Awww…thank you sooo much Patricia. I really appreciate your vote of confidence and your support. I couldn’t do this without you and the rest of the WANA cheerleaders…you guys rock!! Woot woot! I actually has Stephen King’s book next on my list to buy – tks for the recommendation!

  15. All right, having poked my nose in and tromped ALL over your comments section, I’m going to go work on my own ROW80 goals that got pushed back due to party organization. 🙂

  16. Good luck in achieving your ROW80 goals. I am with you this time around and looking forward to seeing how much I can get done.

    I think it’s so important for writers to have their own space. I will have to take a picture of mine and post it one twitter…it is spacious (enough) and surrounded by a variety of inspirations (Mark Twain, a few baseball quotes, and Joseph Campbell’s “Follow your Bliss” quote).

    I like what you said about, “feeling like a lot of my time is getting eating up blogging and tweeting.” I hear ya! Don’t forget Facebook! I’ve gotten to the point where I close my browser when I’m writing…that seems to help. Oh, and I forgot to mention my on-line chess games.

    Good luck!


    • Thanks so much for the visit and fabulous comment!
      I agree, having a writing space is key. You should definitely take some pictures and do a post on it. I think it would inspire people everywhere to get their own corner cleaned out. I’ve got mine pretty much in order other than a new office chair. 🙂
      I know…Facebook…another one! Balancing and juggling everything is insane but I think you are right – the key will be to turning off the browser etc when it’s writing time. Otherwise, I won’t be able to help myself. 🙂 I simply can’t be trusted. LOL!
      I am signing off but I’ll swing by your blog pad for a visit tomorrow – happy evening! 🙂

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