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

Advertisements
just for fun · Life and Stuff

Filling Your Creative Well A Little at a Time

Creativity is a bit of a mystery to me.

Sometimes, I feel overflowing with creative energy. I’m driven to make something, anything. My writing calls to me, sweetly, begging me to sit down and pour out the words.

Other times, I feel like I’m looking into a dark, dry well. I send my bucket down, hoping for a few drops of creativity to soothe my parched spirit, but there’s nothing to be had.

What drains the well, and what fills it back up again?

I don’t have the whole answer for you, but it’s at least partly a matter of the balance between play and focus. Sometimes, when we’re working on a big creative task, we get so focused on getting it done, we forget to enjoy ourselves, to play around with it. That lack of play drains our spirit, leaving us feeling barren. On the other hand, when we allow ourselves room to play, even if it’s not with the project at hand, we refill that well.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to find the enthusiasm I need to keep going on several goals, especially my novel-in-progress. We’ve had a couple of big upsets in the family. I think that’s thrown me off. But more than that, I think I’ve been too intent on just getting my goals done. I’ve forgotten why I set the goals in the first place and the joy with which I first embraced them. That lack of just plain fun has sapped my creativity.

My friend and fellow blogger, Jay Squires, reminded me that a little bit of creativity just for the heck of it can go a long way toward refilling the well. Continue reading “Filling Your Creative Well A Little at a Time”

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”

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”

ROW80 Check Ins

ROWmancing the Goals

It’s that time of the week again, folks. Yes, I’m talking about the Sunday ROW80* check in. Time to evaluate the progress so far and decide whether to continue in the same direction or chart a new course, if necessary.

jungle
Your goals are right through there. Head on in.

I’m calling this week a win. I fell down on some of my goals (mostly because I didn’t think about balancing everything I needed to do last week), but I made it through my biggest challenge.

Let’s check in, shall we? Continue reading “ROWmancing the Goals”

ROW80 Check Ins · Uncategorized

ROWses Are Red…

…Violets are blue.  We all know setting goals is good for you.

Roses Red

It’s been a very long time since I participated in ROW80 and a recent post by Nicole Evans detailing her progress on her long and short term goals inspired me.

The current ROW80 round began July 3, but folks are welcome to jump in at any time. So here I go.

Goals

Writing

Long Term Goal: Complete the “official” first draft of my WIP manuscript by the end of this year.

Short Term Goal: Finish the scene I’m currently reworking (let’s call it STO) and begin the next.

Cello

I’ve got a strings camp coming up next week. My daughter, who plays the violin, and I are both participating. She’s been playing for 2.5 years, and I’ve been playing for 2.5 months, but the camp is for all levels. We’ve both been working on the music for several weeks now, and most of my cello goals revolve around gaining the skill necessary to make it through the camp and the finale performance. Continue reading “ROWses Are Red…”

Life and Stuff

How to be Great at Anything, Part the Third

*This post is Part 3 of 3. Find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

at the pinnacle

Lately, we’ve been talking about growing greatness.

It seems to me that many folks imagine talent is something a person is born with. You’ve either got it or you don’t.

I disagree. It seems to me that most of what we perceive as talent is really the culmination of thousands of hours of practice and intense passion.

Perhaps there are some individuals who have a special kind of magic we mere mortals will never touch. If so, I expect those individuals are pretty rare. I also expect it would be pretty difficult to tell the “genius” from the person who put in enough dedication and time to achieving greatness.

Furthermore, maybe greatness isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. None of us have to be world-class to be good. The amount of time, effort and passion required to be world-class is tremendous, much more than many of us would want to commit. I would also venture to say that most of the individuals we admire in a particular field are closer to pretty good than world-class. And that’s good enough.

We’ve talked about how you need to talk to yourself, set goals and practice. Here are my last few ideas for growing your own greatness (or pretty goodness):

Time

This is where I fall down. Frequently. There are only so many hours in the day, and we all have obligations. However fast or slow you progress is a matter of personal preference, but the amount of time you carve out will determine the speed of your progress.

Lately, I’ve reminded myself of this when I’m tempted to Netflix binge.

Imagination

This has two parts. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything, Part the Third”

Life and Stuff

How to be Great at Anything, Part Deux

*This post is Part 2 of 3, find Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

Practice Makes Perfect

Recently, I read Richard Feynman‘s Six Easy Pieces and felt staggered. Not only was this man a brilliant physicist but also an extraordinary teacher. As he described the structure of matter and atomic processes, I could see what he was explaining. It was absolutely breathtaking, in a super nerdy* way.

When I was a kid, I went on a school field trip (an art museum, the Getty, the Huntington?) and saw a marble sculpture of Cleopatra sitting on a cushioned chair. The pillow she sat on was so exquisitely carved it looked as soft as velvet and down. I held my breath looking at it. I wanted to reach out and touch it. I held back but others did not, if the black smudge on one corner of the pillow was any indication. They must have felt just as I did.

I felt the same when I read James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. That stream of consciousness writing. I’d never read anything like it.

When we come across the work of a master in any field, we’re likely to stand in awe and think there’s no way I could do anything like this. This dude/chick is a genius.

And, when we think genius, we typically think born that way and no amount of work is going to get me there. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything, Part Deux”