ROW80 – Round 1 – Check-in #6

It’s Sunday and that means time for another ROW80 progress update.

This week I lost some momentum with a wee bit of craziness. First, I had 2 weeknight events to attend (Jeff Dunham was one – HILARIOUS). Although fun, they sort of blew a hole in my weeknight schedule. Then Saturday hubby threw out his back so we spent most of Saturday waiting at the hospital (Canadian healthcare at its finest). Hubby is ok (albeit in a lot of pain). He pinched a nerve in his back and is off work for a week with some strong muscle relaxers to hopefully get him back on track. And for some reason, I just felt a little wore out this week.

So my check-in is a little lack luster this week BUT, I am psyched to get this fresh week underway where I plan to get back on track. While taking care of hubby!

Writing Goals:

  • Complete outline of WIP
  • Write 1750 words a week, on average 250 words a day (can be on WIP or other writings like flash fiction, character development, world building etc)
    672 words total this week
  • Finish James Scott Bell book
    I opted for more reading than writing this week. I read chapters 6 through 11 and hand-wrote over 20 pages of notes. 
  • Read 2 other writing craft books

Social Media Goals:

  • Blog – post 4 times a week
    4 posts – total word count: 2370
  • Blog – post ROW80 progress reports twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday)
  • Tweet/Comment on at least 10 blogs a week
  • Comment on 1 new blog per week (ROW80 or otherwise)

Healthy Lifestyle Goals:

  • Cardio – 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
    Nope – only 1 cardio this week
  • BowFlex – 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
  • Maintain a daily food/migraine journal

The wins:

  • Got a ton of reading done, which I really enjoyed.
  • Met all my social media goals.

Where to improve:

  • I have to learn how to fit in writing and working out when a busy week takes over.

How are you making out with your ROW80 goals?



  1. How to fit them in…make them your first priorities. (After hubby, of course) Social media and reading are easier to get in, but writing is crucial to your writing business and exercising is critical for your health. Try to switch your focus on these tasks. None of us will shrivel up and die if you don’t comment on our blogs one week. And the book will still be waiting for you. First things first in this order: Natalie, Hubby, WIP. No guilt. Take care of you and yours before anything else. 🙂 Great week though! You made a lot of progress!

  2. 20 handwritten notes!!!! You sound like me, except that would be my total for the whole book so you got me beat there. You’re putting lots of work in and I’m sure it will get the wheels a turning. 🙂

    • It’s a pain in the butt BUT I know I’ll remember the concepts better this way and my notes will be easier to refer back to. LOL! I am trying to make the most of the craft books. And although I am getting a ton out of Plot and Structure, I am not sure how women’s fiction or chick lit fit into the concepts. I see it easier when I think about applying them to writing a YA Paranormal. Hence why I was super pumped to see your tweet about a great chick lit writing craft book. Woot woot!

  3. Can we add a few more hours to the day? Maybe I’ll have the time to do more blogging

  4. Life does interfere with our writing from time to time, uh-huh! Glad part of that interference was a fun night out. Poor hubby – sending healing karma to him (how are those painkillers working for him?) and to you!

    • Life certainly does. LOL!! And yes, thankfully some of it was fun.
      Thanks for the warm wishes to hubby – he says THANK YOU! He’s doing a bit better today but still struggling with a lot of pain when he tries to move at all and walking is difficult. Poor thing. He does get pretty “high” on the pain killers. LOL! It’s cute.

  5. Considering your very busy week (glad hubby is ok), I think you did amazing. I’m so impressed with your blog post word counts and 20 pages of handwritten notes. I hope you’ll share the highlights of those notes with us!

    Life took over for my update this week. So much so, I’m having a hard time even writing my update post. 😉

    Thanks for always being such a lovely supporter of my blog, too. It’s truly appreciated!

  6. So sorry your hubby hurt his back – no fun, at all! I’m with Tia – I think you did amazing, all things considering. And please, do share your fave parts of those handwritten notes! 🙂

    Have a great week, Miss Natalie!

    • Thanks Myndi!!
      I’ll have to copy my notes to PDF and share them. Although reading my writing would be the real challenge. LOL!!
      Happy week Myndi – here’s to getting your groove back!!

  7. i just saw james scott bell at the writer’s digest conference yesterday – he is terrific! hope his book has been useful. i definitely plan on picking one up!

    good luck this week 🙂

  8. Ouch, hope your hubby feels better soon!
    And, with all the “distractions”, we understand not meeting all your goals. I think we’re not expecting every one of us to meet all our goals each week. After all, we are humans and things happen …
    Here to a better week! See ya on twitter 😉

    • I couldn’t agree more Juliana. For me, I consider my goals and overarching lifestyle I hope to strive for each week. Some weeks I’ll hit, some I’ll sort of hit, some I’ll miss all together but the point is to keep striving. 🙂
      Woot woot…thanks for swinging by. Have a great week to!

  9. Great job on your goals. On exercise, I’ve found that setting a time that is generally free is the best. For me it’s right after work. Not sure if your life has a lull point in the day, but if it does that would make for an ideal work out spot.

    Enjoy Bell’s book, have it on my shelf and refer to it often. Have a great week, Natalie 🙂

    • Fantastic tip Gene. I’m definitely going to look at my week and see if there’s a spot it could fit. A scheduled time would likely be a huge assist. Great pointer – thank you!!
      You too!!!

  10. “First things first in this order: Natalie, Hubby, WIP. No guilt.” Yes, Marcia, yes!!! And so, Natalie, I’m wondering if putting the pen, notes and craft book to the side each day until some words are done might help with fitting things in. Not giving up the craft learning (has done HUGE wonders and a ha moments for me), but having it be a learning treat after the writing. I know we are both in similar spots figuring out our processes. When I look at my goals list each week, I see it all matters for balance, yet the writing pieces ring first. If they don’t, I’ll be a balanced chick still dreaming about being the writer I know I can be. Still figuring it out.

    Now for hubby, are you sure he didn’t hurt his back figuring out the bling for his thing? Hey, I know he was looking into some jewel designs a few weeks back. Heh. 🙂 Hope he feels better soon.

    • Love “no guilt”! Woot woot!
      Thanks for the FAB comment Barbara. I love your suggestion about writing first and using reading a craft book as a learning treat afterwards. I think that’s a GREAT way to set things up. It’s all about working into a routine and process and creating balance. Soooo true…
      LMAO!!! I WISH that was it!! He was wrenching on stuff in the garage and felt it happen. He said he nearly collapsed and he can hardly walk unassisted. Poor thing. He does NOT like being injured and this is definitely one of the worst yet…but Nurse Natalie is on call and I’ll get him back in shape in no time! LOL!!

  11. Yo Natalie, I have not talked to you in like forever girl! But then you’ve been very busy I can see. I am so sorry to hear about Hubby’s back. And don’t you know I well know about this subject with all the problems my husbands been suffering through. Oh yes, Canadians aren’t the only ones who suffer with health care my dear friend. My husband has been waiting for ten months for surgery because of our health care system. Not funny. And he just deteriorated through the process. So I feel your frustration about not making goals last week. All I can say is this week better get better or I’m gonna lose my mind soon. I’m getting no writing done.

    Well, take care Natalie. I’ve missed our chats. Tomorrow is the beginning of a brand new week! Yeah!!!!!!! 🙂

    • I know, it’s been awhile Karen. Sorry we haven’t connected but we will soon. 🙂
      I can’t imagine what you’ve been through with your husband. It’s the kind of wait times I’d expect with our healthcare system, I thought yours was much faster!! Wow.
      Here’s to both our hubbies’ recoveries!

  12. great progress Natalie. Gene has some good ideas for exercise. hmmm I should try that…

  13. Hey, Natalie, you’ve had quite the week! I think you did really well, considering what’s going on with hubby. So…how did hubby throw out his back, hmmm? *wink*

    Seriously, though, I hope he bounces back soon – although I’m sure it won’t interfere with you gathering more blog material from those interesting conversations you two have, LOL! Hang in there, and have a great week! *Hugs*

    • I think he wishes he threw it out doing a double back dismount. LOL! But unfortunately, it was totally unsexy. He was pulling on the snowmobile – something he’s done a hundred times. He must have just been turned wrong. OUCH!
      I am sure we’ll still manage to find some research/practice blog fun! LOL!!
      Thanks so much for the support! HUGS!!

  14. OK, Hubby, are you listening?? Shhhh! Don’t tell Nat what I think you should give her for her next birthday/holiday/anniversary/Spank Bank Super Stardom present…(especially if you’re gonna be sitting in the ER for 4+ hours with Kayden the Devil Spawn)

    GET YOUR WIFE A FREAKING ALPHASMART NEO. She needs it to be able to write anywhere for the crazy weeks – lunch, in the car, in the ER, at Starbucks, wherever. She’ll get her wordcount up, with no extra time commitment, which leaves MORE TIME FOR YOU.

    Got it? OK. Just being a pal.

    OK, you can uncover the computer now, since your wife’s likely seen “our big secret” already.

    Have a great week, both of you – hope the back feels MUCH better soon. Also, if Hubby says anything particularly hilarious while on muscle relaxers, I might need a guest post on the subject. Just sayin…

    • I totally closed my eyes and was a good girl but then…well shoot…I couldn’t freaking help myself!! LOL!! An Alphasmart Neo – sooo cool!! I will say that hubby DID buy me a Dell MINI laptop and nice carrying back for JUST that reason. It’s so small and portable, I can take it anywhere to write. But then I forget to take it with me. LOL!!! I am terrible….I will get better!!!
      I’ve got the notepad ready for any words of wisdom he shares while stoned out of his mind. LOL!!!

  15. Oooh poor hubby! I hope the hospital gave him the good stuff and he’s now not only not feeling the pain, but feeling a little on the happy side.

    As for your goals, sorry you spent a night at the hospital and that probably messed with your mojo a little bit. But I am so glad you got out to see Jeff Dunham! What fun!! I have been meaning to get my exercise back into place first thing in the morning. I was doing that almost religiously last year. What I found when I was exercising is that it opened my mind to the story during the workout, so I could move to my WIP afterwards and have a great words session. Just a thought. I need to get back to that myself. I have been feeling more of a time crunch and so I sacrificed the workout. I don’t seem to find any lull in my day like Gene mentioned. Why don’t I have any lulls? 

    Oh – and seriously Nat? 20 pages of notes? Wow! You amaze me. I want to cheat off of you. LOL You know I’m just kidding, right? Hahahaha

    • Exercise is a tough one but it’s one that we never regret doing. Like you, I always feel more energized afterwards. I think we need to adopt a more non-negotiable, just-do-it-already attitude.
      Yip, and that’s just for those chapters. I have notes on all the others to. They are stacking up. I’d share em’ with anyone who’d like to take on the challenge of reading my writing. LOL!!!

  16. I like how you put “how I can improve” at the end of your post. I might incorporate that into mine. Sometimes when life gets in the way, it’s hard to get everything done, but like you said, it’s a new week! Typically, if I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, it doesn’t happen. Like Gene Lempp said, it works better if you have a set time of day. Enjoy James Scott Bell’s book. His books are terrific.

    • Thanks Suzanne! I am glad you enjoyed the post and are going to incorporate some ideas into yours. That is the biggest compliment a gal can receive. 🙂
      Yes, it’s a fresh week and I think I’m going to book my workouts for the week tonight on my big calendar so I see them more like appointments I’m committed to rather than something I’ll do if I feel like it. Maybe I’ll start doing that ever Sunday for the week ahead so I can fit them in around other commitments. Hmmm…YES that’s exactly what I’ll do!! 🙂

  17. Love Jeff Dunham…definitely worth losing some writing time. Oh maybe he inspires some? So, sorry about hubs back. Hope he feels better soon!

    Aren’t we a pair? LOL. Cheering you on Natalie, it’s a new day, a new week 🙂

    • He was ahhhmazing. I near peed myself. Definitely inspiration for humor parts of the stories. OMG!
      I will pass along your best wishes.
      Aren’t we though. LOL! Woot woot to a new day and week! 🙂

  18. Alas, life sometimes pulls a fast one on us. Best wishes for a higher word count this week. You logged pretty well in spite of it. And many of your other goals were a big check mark. So “Go you!” Hope hubby feels much better soon.

    I’m wowed by the 20-page notes for JSB’s book. I want to re-read that one because there is so much information there! Have a fabulous week, Natalie.

    • Thanks Julie and I shall pass along your wish of health to hubby! He’s still laid up pretty bad but I’m hoping we start to see improvements soon.
      Oh yes, I like to take detailed notes. The question is, will I be able to read my writing when it comes time to review them?!?! LOL!!!

  19. Boy, I need to keep a migraine journal. Although, every time I get one, I know why–a glass of wine to dehydrate me, not enough sleep, not enough exercise…the list goes on!

    Sounds like you are keeping up, even when life gets in the way! Good luck!

    • Thanks so much Heather. Yeah, mine are typically related to my menstrual cycle but I am still hoping the journal might help give me some insight. 🙂
      Here’s to more migraine free days for both of us!

  20. I’d love to see Jeff Dunham! Lucky you! Not so lucky hubby! Hope he is recovering.

    Btw, I like how you sum up your weekly achievements (wins) and what to work on. I think that’s a very positive way to approach it. I just may borrow it. . . 🙂

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