ROW80 Check Ins

That’s How it ROWs

cat on a bench
I see you up there, goals. I will get you.

You know how, when your foot falls asleep and goes numb, then wakes up with that horrible pins and needles sensation? You know it’s going to pass, but it drives you nuts until it does. You just have to remind yourself, it will pass.

At the moment, that’s what I’ve got going on with my motivation and enthusiasm. They’re waking up, so that’s good. It’s just not the most comfortable experience.

Add a nice bit of jury duty (still ongoing, by the way) on top of all that, and it makes for an interesting week, goal-wise.

Anywho, let’s see how much go there’s been in my ROW* since last check in:

Writing

Last Week

Nada.

Yup. Not even a little bit.

This Week

Do I dare set a goal when I still have jury duty?

Nope. I think I’ll leave it open-ended this week.

Cello

Last Week

I worked on a  new fingering pattern for the passage I’m learning. I thought I had that puppy down (not at full speed, but still), but bombed in my lesson. I can chalk at least part of it up to being tired all week during practice, but I also think there’s a few things going on with my bowing and fingering.

Part of my difficulty is tension. The passage is so fast, I tense during the especially swift portions. I didn’t notice that I was tensing until after I made a complete mess of the music during the lesson. I thought fatigue had caused the mess, but it’d really just exposed it. Once I was able to sit calmly at home and evaluate things, I saw that I was holding tension in both my bowing hand and my fingers (especially my left pinky…deadly for the triplet I have to play).

This Week

My strings teacher suggested I slur the bit of the passage containing the triplet. While this didn’t work in lesson (I was completely spent by that time), it seems to be helping now. Knowing I don’t have to make tiny, quick bow changes allows me to relax a little more. Now, I need to work on relaxing completely. If I can nail that, I’ll work on upping the temp.

Health

Last Week

I managed all three workouts. Yay me!

This Week

Same as last week. Three workouts.

Family

Last Week

We binged some Netflix together. Does that count?

This Week

We’re still getting sorted out. Probably no official family game or movie night this week. We’ll just wing it.

***

*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
Lilah Cat, mine. Available on Flickr. | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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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?

Sure.

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

 

Writing

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.

Cello

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.

Health

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.

Family

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

 

ROW80 Check Ins

Wherefore Art Thou, My ROW?

balcony
O ROWmeo, ROWmeo…

It’s not really my ROW I’m searching for, it’s my motivation. It snuck out in the middle of the night. Probably to party. I expected it to come slinking home just before dawn, shamefaced at abandoning me and ready to get back to work. Alas, my motivation has stayed away.

I keep standing in motivation’s yard, calling up and getting no response.

Right now, I’m working (not very well) on fumes.

Despite the drag I’m feeling from lack of enthusiastic motivation, I keep on keeping on. I’m sure, pretty sure anyway, that I can coax motivation back if I just keep going. Continue reading “Wherefore Art Thou, My ROW?”

ROW80 Check Ins

A Steaming Cup of ROW

You ever have those days where there doesn’t seem to be enough coffee in the world to keep you on track?

Yeah, that’s pretty much been my week.

steaming cup of coffee
Need…more…coffee…soon…

Not that it’s been all bad. We’re getting back on track after our unfortunate car break in incident. I haven’t let too many things slip. But my motivation is severely dragging. Hopefully, I can pep up this week, but I’m keeping my plans light just in case. Continue reading “A Steaming Cup of ROW”

just for fun · ROW80 Check Ins

Did I Hear That Right?

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post

We have a running joke in our family. Whenever we think we misheard someone, we repeat back to that person what it sounded like s/he said. Sometimes, we’re reasonably close. Other times, we’re wildly, hilariously off.

We’re not alone. Lots of folks do this all this time, often without even knowing how off the mark they are.

You see this especially with song lyrics:

*May be a wee bit NSFW, due to language (but only two or three instances…and said in such a great accent…so there’s that).

***

And now for a ROW80* update.

This has been a challenging week for me. Over the weekend, our car was robbed. Continue reading “Did I Hear That Right?”

Life and Stuff · ROW80 Check Ins

Are You Overthinking It?

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post

Have you ever gotten stuck on something that you feel should come naturally but it’s not coming naturally and you can’t figure out why so you sit around and try to work it out but then you get stuck in the thinking about the thing and that’s worse than getting stuck on the thing in the first place…?

*pauses for breath*

If you overthink things (or just think you do) this video is for you:

Overthink. That kind of sounds like overlord, doesn’t it? Like something outside yourself is thinking for you. Continue reading “Are You Overthinking It?”

ROW80 Check Ins

You Win Some, You ROW Some

relaxing husky
Whaddya mean the finish line is still three yards away? I’m comfortable here.

Here we are again, another Sunday ROW80* check in.

I’m a little disappointed in my progress this week. I didn’t miss by much, but what I did miss was due to poor time management. I’ll be working on that this week.

You can see last week’s goals here and the updated writing goals here.

Here’s where I’m at now and where I’m going:

Writing

Last Week

I finished the STO2 and M scenes and worked up editing notes for LLF and the scene that comes right after (let’s call it NA).

I should be pleased, as I hit my updated goal. Still, I’d like to be faster and more efficient with these scene rewrites. My problem is that I’m often putting my writing off until the end of the day, when I’m tired and short on creativity. I need to put the writing first…even if it means getting up a little earlier. Continue reading “You Win Some, You ROW Some”

ROW80 Check Ins

ROW the Line

tight rope balance
It’ll all about balance…

Welcome to another Sunday ROW80* check in. Time to see if this week’s progress balances the goals or is ready to fall to its doom.

I’m calling this week another win even though I’m more tired than enthused. I hit all of my goals…or will by end of day.

Let’s see where we’re at, shall we?

Writing

Last Week

The scene I’ve been working on forever the last couple weeks has been the bane of my existence (although I’m quite sure there will be others…and probably very soon). You might think, because it’s a rewrite, it would be no problem. It was definitely a problem. Continue reading “ROW the Line”