ROW80 Check Ins

Every ROWse Has its Thorns

Cactus Flower

For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling to keep my productivity up. It’s partly a (temporary) lull in motivation, partly some minor life upheaval, and partly creative fatigue. I’m thankful things are beginning to turn around. The effects of the minor life upheaval have dissipated, motivation is beginning to revive and the creative well is (slowly) refilling. I’m looking forward to regaining a happy momentum…the sooner the better.

This experience has reminded me that I need to plan for dips in motivation and creative fatigue. Both are normal parts of any goal-oriented journey. And I’ve realized that I can’t always rely on momentum alone to keep me going. Friction, my friends, is the enemy of perpetual motion machines and mental processes (different kinds of friction, I know…but, whatever).

Now, I just need to put a plan together. No problem, right?


In the mean time, let’s see what’s been going on with my ROW* since last check in:



Last Two Weeks

Still working on the TTG. It’s been a bear because it’s a big exposition scene. I’ve worked through several versions of this scene and haven’t been happy with any of them. I’m searching for the right balance between action and revelation. I don’t want any of the necessary backstory to bog down the story. If I could cut it, I would, but the main characters desperately need this info.

This Week

I’m tempted to skip this scene for now and move on to the next, which needs virtually no backstory and is mostly action. The next several scenes are like that. I might be able to work through all of these this week…if I could only leave the TTG alone. Yet, I don’t want to have to wrestle with it later either.

In short, I’m not fixed on a writing goal this week. I’ll either finish reworking TTG or temporarily abandon it.

I’m also up for jury duty this week. I’ll need to be flexible with all my goals.


Last Two Weeks

The week before last, my practice hours dropped significantly, but I’ve brought them back up.

My (infinitely patient) strings teacher informs me I’m improving. I’m still working on bringing up my tempo on the passage I’ve been working on. I’m about 70% of where I need to be, but that’s up from something like 40-50%, where I’d been stuck for weeks.

This Week

Bring my tempo up to at least 80%. Smooth out string crossings and bowing.

No set practice hours. I want to see how I do on that without a specific goal.


Last Two Weeks

Averaging three workouts a week. I’ve brought up the intensity and have noticed improvements in strength and endurance.

This Week

3 workouts. Maintain intensity.


Last Two Weeks

We haven’t had game or movie night the last couple of weeks, but we’ve spent time together for outings.

This Week

The school year is underway, and religious education is starting up again at our church. We may have to be much more flexible with family nights for the next few weeks, until we get back into a rhythm.


*ROW80, also known as a Round of Words in 80 Days, is an opportunity for us to set goals (for writing and/or other areas) and share them with a community ready to keep us accountable and cheer us on. If you’re interested in ROW80, you can find more info here and the latest check in post here.

Photo Credit
Cactus Flower, mine. Available on Flickr. | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


12 thoughts on “Every ROWse Has its Thorns

  1. If you ask me, you’ve got the creative process well under control. A very organized lady. You began talking about strings … and that threw me, but I gather it’s something you’ve mentioned before. Anyway, everything works to support each part. Good job, Sonia.


  2. I’m struggling with that same balance between action and revelation…it always amazes me when I’m reading a book and the author teases you with just the right amount of information.


  3. First off, I love the punny title.

    Secondly, we all experience lulls and dips and hiccups and stumblings. The most important thing is to forgive yourself when it happens and then continue to push forward and not give up. And it seems you’re doing just that. Keep it up!

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