Wednesday’s Rambling Writer – Powering Through To The End

There is only a week left of ROW80 and I am looking forward to the end. We are sprinting down the final straight – it is the point in the race when you really start to feel the burn in your muscles, that point where you really have to buckle down and power through to the end.

I’m not ashamed to admit it – I have been struggling. The past few weeks life seems to be overwhelming me. I feel like I have no time to write, no time to blog, certainly no time to read and comment on other blogs. Basically I have no time at all.

This can’t actually be true. I am fairly certain that the number of hours in the day have remained the same – clearly it is what I am doing with those hours that has changed. Perhaps it is just that now the weather is so divine (Spring has hit here with full force) I am spending more time outside (if only I could find a way to write my story while pushing my kids on the swing!)

Today I really struggled. I didn’t turn on my computer at all until after the kids were in bed and at that point I still hadn’t had dinner. I could barely keep my eyes open and for the first time in weeks the thought of just skipping my 500 word goal for today genuinely crossed my mind. But I have come so far and the last thing I want to do is falter at the finishing line.

I have some experience with this (take my unfinished story – Kali Jacobs, Please Take a Seat as a fine example). But today when I was thinking about faltering it wasn’t my failures as a writer that I was thinking of, it was a far more literal interpretation of ‘faltering at the finishing line’.

When I was 14 I was taking part in the Regional Cross Country (a running race over a few kilometres between the best runners from the surrounding schools). In order to make it to the next competition, at State, you needed to come in at 9th or better. So I ran my little heart out. As we were approaching the finish line someone yelled out to me that I was coming 10th and low and behold I could see the girl in front of me and she seemed to be struggling, so I stepped it up a notch. I caught her with less than 100m to go in the race, and with my lungs burning and my legs aching I ran past her. The only problem was that as I ran past her my foot hit hers and I stacked it face first onto the asphalt.

It wasn’t one of those little stacks where the person lands a bit awkwardly and jumps back up onto their feet and continues as if nothing happened. No I landed on the ground hard and then skidded for a few metres (embedding lots of nice bits of rock and dirt into my wounds for the Dr to dig out later). Needless to say I didn’t come in 9th place. I came in 10th, well sort of, I was actually carried over the line by some of the MANY witnesses to my spectacular fall.

So why is this story relevant? You ask. Well – two weeks later I received a phone call telling me that as the 10th place getter I was the first reserve for State. Someone had injured themselves and I was being called up – only I was still injured myself and was certainly not capable of competing. The moral of the story is that sometimes just finishing the race is the goal. All those years ago if I hadn’t tried to run past that girl then I would have gone to State.

So today when I sat down to write I decided to hit my 500 words but not worry about the extra 600 I would have needed to reach 5000 for the week. I would have been pushing myself too hard and goodness only knows what might have happened. So I can proudly say that I completed another week where I wrote at least 500 words a day, everyday. My word counts for the week were:

Thurs – 569

Fri – 661

Sat – 596

Sun – 628

Mon – 870

Tues – 549

Wed – 516

Which gave me a total for the week of 4389 and a total so far for ROW80 of 49728 (yep that’s right almost 50K since I started!)

One week to go. One week to go. One week to go. Repeat the mantra people. We will get there 🙂

Are you struggling? Are you looking forward to the finish line? I hope you have all had a good week.

Jody Moller

ps. I apologise for any spelling/grammatical errors. I am so tired I am not even going to proof read this before I post it – I will do it tomorrow!

 

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15 responses to “Wednesday’s Rambling Writer – Powering Through To The End

  1. One week to go!

    And thank you for this post! In my own Check-in for the day, I talked about how I was modifying my goal once again and this post really made me think that that was the easy way out. I know this last week has been hard on me (too much work!), but that’s no reason to just keep an easy pace until the finish line. I think I might just try to push myself toward the last goal after all; I’ve done it before, I can do it again!

    It’s worth a try, anyway!

    And excellent work on your own goals, too! Let’s keep it up! one more week!

  2. Jody – this is a great post! I really enjoyed your comparison of a race, too. I think that in the end, you’re right. Focus on the 500 words for today and let the other days take care of themselves. That way you can be satisfied with what you’ve accomplished today.

    I have struggled a bit with creativity this week, so I appreciated your words a great deal. ~ Nadja

  3. That is a very good lesson that I think can apply to all of us.

    I think you’re doing fantastically on your goals. Remember the point of ROW80 is to maintain goals *flexibly* are those 49k+ words more than you would have gotten on your own? Maybe. I know for me that is true. And that I’ve also made progress in other areas that don’t involve word counts.

    Keep it up, slow and steady, you’ll get there!

    • You’re completely right Crystal there is no way I would have written 50K in 80 days! So ROW80 has served it’s purpose it had helped me keep my focus and I have met lots of great writers to boot!

  4. Congrats on reaching your goal of writing 500 words each day, especially given the spring weather and your other responsibilities. I want to echo Crystal’s words — slow and steady is definitely the way to go with a challenge like ROW80.

    Enjoy the rest of the week, Jody!

  5. Way to go! I love the race analogy. A few months ago someone described writing daily as a marathon rather than a sprint, probably whoever convinced me to give ROW 80 a try. NaNo is about the sprint, so it doesn’t help train for the long term. If I push too hard, my brain fries out and I can’t make myself want to even think about the story. Though I’ve still been a slacker, ROW 80 is getting me closer to the daily pace I want for myself. And I now have a better idea of what sort of goals I should set myself for the next round.

    (And ouch, I can imagine too vividly that face plant. Thankfully my sister, who did cross country in middle school, never had that happen. Yowza.)

    • ROW80 has been great for me in terms of consistency. I never wrote everyday before and now I do which is great! Oh… and yeah it really was OUCH! And I still have the scars to prove it 🙂

  6. Congrats on hitting your goals! I so know what you mean; I feel like I spend so much time running and running and running and have so little to show for it. But when I keep track of my progress, I realize I am accomplishing things, just far more slowly than I really wanted. One more week, and I hope it’s a great one for you! 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 Only a few days left and I am happy to say that it looks like I am going to be riding this wave all the way into the beach (aka my word counts this week are looking awesome!) I hope you have found your own wave to carry you through the last week

  7. Jody,
    Great post. I am so with you on this one. I had to tweak goals several times this round; I had to struggle with the green-eyed monster when I would read other participant’s word counts.

    A dear friend gave me a plastic tortoise when I started my Ph.D. dissertation. I am the tortoise, I AM the tortoise. Actually, after reading one of Amber’s posts (http://wosushi.wordpress.com), I started calling myself the baby sea-turtle.

    What I discovered is that I wrote so much more than I would have if I had not joined RoW80; that writing every day is making it easier, making the words flow better, making editing easier.

    Yay for all of us! And congrats on the award. See you in round 4!

    • I love the baby sea turtle analogy 🙂 That is completely how I feel sometimes, my little flippers are waving up and down but I just don’t seem to be getting anywhere. But I know that if I just keep moving I will make it to the ocean eventually…. Thanks for leaving a comment

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