Tossing #ROW80 Round 3 onto the backseat: it has ended!

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”~Abraham Lincoln, American president

I’ve participated in A Round of Words in 80 Days for a year now and have yet to accomplish even a subset of my goals, but for once, I don’t feel failure.

“What will make me happy to complete this summer? Catching up and keeping up.” That’s what I wrote back on July 5, the beginning of Round 3.  Here’s what happened with my 6 goals since then:


Goal #1–Update my blog.
No draft posts; Let go of old posts; Finish all Pages (for now); Migrate older posts to new site.

This did not happen, not at all.  I’m a packrat.  I knew this from my clutter in my house, but I didn’t realize I did that in my writing.  There are too many half-started posts that I think are publish-worthy.  Are they outdated?  Are they good?  I don’t know how to organize these, and I’m scared to let my good writing evaporate into the Ethernet.  “Letting go” is something I must to work on.

Goal #2–Deal with 5-10 emails/day: 5 new and 5 old.

Nope.  Not even close.  As I write this, I was down to 996 emils to review, but I haven’t opened my inbox in 6 days because I took a trip to Penn State.  The best I did was get it down to 736 one day.  That didn’t last long.  I’m still viciously deleting emails, but now I need to get all ninja with my inbox and attack it with a lightsaber.

Goal #3–Deal with my phone photos: save, print, delete.

This is even more of a hot mess today.  I ran out of memory space last week to tape a video for my YouTube channel.  I had to delete old videos to make enough room to finish the last 3 minutes of my project.  And yes, I automatically typed “tape” instead of “film” in a throwback to my VCR-camcorder days, and I am keeping it there.  I officially let go of it on July 31 and postpone to the future, that vague future where I want things to just magically fix themselves without my work and effort.  Yeah, right.


Goal #4–Maintain current social media schedule, revise/update as needed.

Okay, this was somewhat successful.  I developed a schedule, and when I kept to it, social media interaction increased.  On the days or weeks I missed a deadline or got caught up in something else, I felt lost.  Maybe my social media calendar is too aggressive?  Maybe I need to restructure my time?  Using my Happy Planner on my new YouTube channel, All Things Bookish, has made me aware of how I’m using and not utilizing my time.  Seeing it in writing has added awareness.  Doing things like the weekly Haiku Horizons challenge has been fun.  I need more fun in this life I write.

Goal #5–Keep in touch with friends and family through phone calls and letters.

Surprisingly, I did this more than I expected.  I had a tentative schedule–more of a reminder, really–of when to call whom.  I love talking to my family and friends!  Voices bring memories.  Letter writing has been a fun throwback to my pen pal days of yore.  I found and made time for this.  I’m glad.  It keeps me sane and grounded.

Goal #6–Write: current WIPs; edit drafts; new stories; and just for fun
I also let go of this on July 31.  I had too much to do to catch up and feel accomplished to even think about “writing for fun.”  That’s sad.  It’s like catching up on past due assignments just to fall behind again with current projects that then become past due.  It makes me dizzy to think about it.

The quarterly writing challenge has not been productive for me, even as I revised goals and tasks.  Round 3 was no different, and I’m glad it ends tomorrow.  Now I can focus on what I learned about myself before Round 4 kicks in on October 3, 2016.

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