Thursday, March 22, 2012

ROW80 End Update

Okay, time to stick a fork in it!

(To be honest, I not only stuck a fork in it, but already ate it and washed the dishes and put the fork away.)

This first round of writing in 2012 has been more of an exploration for me. Poking around, trying things out, finding the right balance. And this is true for everything in my life right now.

Therefore, the results of this round were good, even though I stopped counting quite a while ago.

I got changes I want to make: To my life, to my professional focus. I've got things I put on hold that I want to bring back into my life, and I think I actually have the mindspace/lifespace to do it now.

For instance, aside from writing:

Daring Novelist Blog: this has already been evolving back into the kind of personal blog it started out as. I'm going to continue that way. This blog is for reporting on progress and my lifelong on-going writing dare. Sure I'll continue commentary and thoughts on writing and publishing and story -- but I'm tired of making this my "platform." I'm tired of the endless discussion of "issues" in the writing community. (I can't stay away from them, but I'm tired of them. They're like potato chips.)

Daring Adventure Stories: Although it has a smaller more specialized audience, Daring Adventure Stories is something I'd really like to build on. I plan to post once a week (eventually twice; one story post, one post about the art and ads and times of the issue). I also plan to make downloadable mobi and epub files of the stories. However, I will work this plan very slowly. Let it develop.

Reading Chinese Menus: You may not know that I have other blogs. Lots of them. Mostly dormant. Reading Chinese Menus is a passion of mine. I like good food, and the best food in a Chinese restaurant is often listed only in Chinese. So I have been teaching myself to read Chinese characters well enough to decipher a menu. The Reading Chinese Menus blog is a character-by-character guide to help others who want to do the same. I have not updated it in a very very long time, but it still gets good traffic, so I think I'll revive it. I'd like to post once a week. And I might do quarterly or biannual ebooks of the collected posts, which I can offer for sale. (Or I might just sign up for the Amazon Kindle blog subscription platform. Or both.)

Get Up, Stand Up: I need to get back into my community. I saw this week just how much disdain the college leadership has for our city and for our students. Students in particular are considered liabilities, and the city is considered a cash cow to be looted at will. It's one thing to diss my union, but it's another thing sneer at my town and mistreat my students. And it's a deeper problem across the community. Time to organize - and I'm not talking union here. Time to build a viral infrastructure.

(I also need to get up and stand up to, uh, lose some weight.)

For the Next ROW80 challenge: I will post concrete goals when the time comes in April, but I'll be focusing on those "microburst" writing sessions this time. I hate to pile on multiple goals, but I think I'll count minutes as well. Since I'm restricting what counts to intensive writing sessions, I'll be setting it at an hour a day, broken up among at least three sessions.

For the Interim period before the next challenge:

I'll focus on two things -- 1.) prepping posts for those other blogs. (I'd like to have drafts in place for nearly the whole quarter.) 2.) writing flash and microfiction. Maybe some full short stories.

See you in the funny papers.


Matt said...

As a fellow serial blogger, those are some solid goals for the future. It's easy to get caught up in the minutia and miss out on the bigger picture, especially in blogging. Though it can be a lot more difficult in practice.

For me, the best way to avoid getting too "writerly" in my writing blog is to focus on my stories. Doesn't always work, but can keep me from being "too wordly." (If there is such a thing.)

Good luck on wrapping these ideas into concrete goals for Round 2.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Matt -- yeah, it's always a trick.

I have a two sides of the "writerly" thing which make it harder. In retrospect I suppose what I really meant was that I was getting hung up on writing for an audience -- and because writers are such an easy and responsive audience, it was easy to get sucked into that.

So the blog is still about writing, but it's a personal blog. It's not about building a platform.

Matt said...

Ah, yes. A good (if perhaps thin) line to draw.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I like your plan for the blog! And I like the fact that you *have* plans. So frequently, I feel like I don't have the time or don't make the time *to* plan...I just keep moving forward without thinking about it. Which isn't good!

The Daring Novelist said...


Well, you've certainly developed a wonderful blog. I think you have a consistency of approach that keeps your blog on track even if you don't plan ahead.

My problem, I think, is that I started this blog with on thing in mind -- tracking a writing dare -- and I hear the sirens of other directions call. But really, the original intent of this blog is the one I need to stick with. (Partly because it involves less planning.)