Retooling My ROW

A funny thing happened on my way through this ROW80 journey.  A hiccup.  An expected busy kick of life that grew into a bit of a bottomless well.  A loss of perspective. 

See, I’ve learned, at almost four decades in, that I’m a pretty tough critic of myself.  Yeah, I’ll go through life looking at other people and having compassion, mercy and understanding.  Not on my own watch of myself.  There is a brutal critic who sees things in black and white and swings a mighty big red pen. 

So even though I knew my world would get busy as I planned my goals — I’d said, “I want to focus this next 80 days on craft elements to getting my novel started… in the midst of this, I am headed into my psycho period at work (now until mid-November).” — there was still a feeling of defeat as day after day passed, with swamped hours going by and me missing getting goals done.

I didn’t even give myself any credit for finally digging out an old crochet project and getting it back going.  Or taking the time to watch a few movies.  Snagging time to get in a bit of the reading.  Swinging through, reading and giving support on the blogs of other ROWers.  Never missing a deadline on the recap articles I write for Reality News Online.  Right now, I’m the covering the Wednesday performance shows for The X Factor.  I’ve done previous articles for The Voice and America’s Got Talent

My original plan was to ramp up the goals post November 10, but I am not going to do that just yet.  For the next two weeks, I’m going to go steady on my original goals, but set up my week to have mini-goals of what I’ll have done by Wednesday check-in and then by Sunday.  If that works better, I’ll then see if I want to ramp up on December 4 or wait until January. 

Here are my goals:  1. Write 500 words a day, three days a week.  ~  2. Read one chapter a week of a craft book.  ~  3. Read one chapter of a novel each week.  ~  4. Blog three times a week.  ~  5. Read, retweet and comment on at least 10 blogs a week.  ~  6. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week.  ~  7. Crochet one hour a week.  ~  8. Enjoy watching one movie a week without multitasking.

Here is where I am at today’s check-in: 1-3 and 7-8 are done. I did about 1/2 on 5.  Rotten goose egg on 4 and 6 due to playing with the procrastination puppy.  Oh he’s cute, but he teethes on your time and them makes messy puddles on your planning. 

Here are my goals to complete by next Wednesday: Goal 1-Have two days done. 3-Done. 4-Two done for Monday and Wednesday. 5-1/2 done. 6. 1/3 done.

How about you?  Any other psycho tough self-critics in the bunch?  Have your goals gone as planned this round?  Did you decide to retool and if so, what changed?

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9 Responses to Retooling My ROW

  1. Callene Rapp says:

    Oh, honey! You sound so much like me! How is it we are so stinking hard on ourselves?

    I like the sounds of your goals for the next two weeks. Very do able, and remember to give yourself credit for what you do get done, rather than bashing yourself for what you didn’t.

    I should be writing myself, but apparently your procrastination puppy came around to pee on my good intentions! From here on out, every time I’m putting something off, I’m going to grin, because I will have that image in my mind!

    But, I’m glad your post popped up in my inbox and I’m glad you’re getting back in the swing of things.

    Take care and I’ll see you Wednesday!

  2. Barb, I doubt you will find any writer that is not a tough self-critic. You do have a life – give it equal time. Everything will fall into place so just keep that happy dance going! You’re our role model for that!

  3. I think I tripped and fell over that puppy! I think you’re doing great and are realistic in what you can get done for the next few weeks. The blogging one is a doozy and has me wondering what’s best as well. Glad you stopped hitting yourself with the guilt bat. 🙂

  4. Oh, that procrastination puppy comes over to my house too! So cute but I want to chase it away!
    It’s better to be a tough self-critic than to fall of a high horse. You are a remarkable woman and you know exactly what you want. Cutting down on some of your goals might actually give you more breathing room, which – in turn – would help you achieve other goals. How about switching to just two posts a week for a time being? When things at work slow down a bit, you can start blogging three times again. I’m posting now only once a week plus row80 update (this is a serious decrease from three posts per week but I figured my WIP is more important).
    Good luck, dear. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  5. Nancy J Nicholson says:

    Wow Barabara, I’d say you’ve done an amazing reality check and should be proud of that alone. Don’t forget to celebrate what you have done. The crochet project may not get your writing done, but it does give your creative muse some free reign. Keep up the good work.

  6. Those are some great goals, and gave me ideas to add to my own list of “things I gotta do.” Even the crochet goal! 🙂

  7. alberta ross says:

    ah that puppy – love the description – being hard on oneself – we all are – part of creativity it seems – but you seem to be realistic about it dont push so hard if its manic at work let go of the other stuff for a bit – have pity on your brain cells – when life calms you’ll be up and sprinting

    all the best for coming week

  8. Tia Bach says:

    Your paragraph about being understanding with others but hard on yourself felt eerie, because I so easily understood. I am my own worst critic, always, but I’m standing by rooting other people on, seeing what’s best in them. Another great reason to surround yourself with ROW80 encouragers!

    Hope you have a great writing week, but I’ll be around to root for you through highs and lows.

  9. Hmmm, seems like I took a little detour with you! Not that I’m doing ROW80, but I used your goals as a template for a little notebook I set up to make my own goals for writing and life and, well, I’ve not been so good about filling them in for the last two weeks.

    That’s okay, we can just pick ourselves back up and get moving right along down the road! You’re such an amazing woman, give yourself permission to say that once in awhile and let yourself have a break. Enjoy the moment (or momentS?) and breathe. Love ya, my WANAsista!

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