No Isn’t a Dirty Word (#ROW80 Check-in)


Adults can learn a lot from kids.

Kids like the simple things in life, from simple sugars to toys. One of their favorite things, however, is the word “no.”

As adults, we are taught that “no” is a bad word, akin to cursing at your great-grandmother’s funeral. I mean, seriously, what kind of sociopath would do something like that? (Side note:  Me, and I don’t recommend it. Your family looks at you like you’ve just upturned her coffin. Might as well shave your head and flash your hoo-hah at the paparazzi.)

But sometimes, other things need to take priority and you have to say that dreaded word.

I’m here to tell you that sometimes, it’s okay to say no.

The First Step is Admitting you Have a Problem

As a writer, I’m constantly battling against others for my time. I am in school full time, and I work as a marketing assistant at a company where overtime isn’t required, but when else are you going to get it done? I also (sometimes) like to have a life where I spend time with family, friends, a good book, or a battery-operated boyfriend.

This stuff is the stuff that makes me who I am. The life part is what makes me continue moving.

So, in all of this, where does writing fit in?

I end up going through cycles (as previously mentioned) where life gets too overwhelming and I hide. This usually means the end of my drive to write, blog, tweet, or anything else. I curl up with a video game (almost exclusively World of Warcraft) or just withdraw from extracurricular activities until things get a little more manageable.

I’m not doing that this time.

Instead, I’m going to re-adjust my goals to fit my (increasingly) busy lifestyle… and I’m not going to feel bad about it, either. If adjusting my goals makes it so that I can actually come by every week and say “I did it!” then I’m okay with saying “no” to some of my original plans.

Up Next on the Chopping Block

I’m so attached to my goals. I know #ROW80 is about half over and I want to finish strong. So, I’m going to let go of some of my goals, with good reasons as to why.

250 words a day with weekends off.

I didn’t hit this goal at all this week, but I tried. I really did. And I will keep trying. This is my test mile, and it’s a good one. I just need to keep trying.

Update my blog Mondays and Fridays with content; Wednesdays and Sundays with check ins.

Yeah. This one is changing. The new goal is to update every Wednesdays for check-ins, but to continue the trend I’ve started of a check-in with content.

That’s it.

I haven’t hit a Sunday yet, and I’m sure I won’t hit one at all this round. Next round, I will add a day of content. Until then though… I’ll just be happy if I can update once a week.

Exercise for 5 minutes or more three times a week – Tuesday and Thursday with Saturday walks with the hubbie.

Saturday walks are wonderful. I’m starting to see a huge difference with my weight and how clothes fit.

The Tuesday and Thursday exercises just haven’t been happening. I’m not dropping this goal, however. I’d like to keep trying, even if I ultimately fail every week. It’ll be good to feel guilty about not doing this one.

Turn in school assignments on time and go to work every day as humanly possible.

I actually missed Sunday’s homework assignments. A crippling migraine kept me away. Still, this is one of those goals I absolutely need to hit, so I’ve got to keep it.

On a positive note, I have been going to work every day. It’s killing me. Almost literally. (Side note: One of the engineers brought me a wonderful bouquet of flowers for Admin Professionals Day. I nearly cried. It’s nice to feel appreciated.)

Limit Twitter to half-hour sprints.

I’d like to change this goal a little. I want to update Twitter three times a day every day, at absolute minimum. The first update will be first thing in the morning, and that will be a personal update. The second will come at around noon and will be a link to an inspirational or interesting writing post. The third will be before bed, and will contain information on if I hit my goals for the day. Daily reinforcement is best.

Decide between Facebook, Google +, Pintrest, Timberr, and Goodreads and start updating once a week.

I was really surprised by #ROW80 people’s reactions to social media. I’ve decided that this one isn’t important, and that I need to just drop it for now. I might revisit this later.

Going Down the Only Road I’ve Ever Known

Final counts are one goal removed, two goals edited, and three goals left untouched.

This will make my 50-hour work weeks seem less imposing… and it should help me address some of the guilt I’ve been feeling. This should also make the remaining #ROW80 time manageable.


Who knows. I might be back next week to put more up on the chopping block!

So, until next week readers, this is Dahnya Och, telling you that “no” isn’t a curse word and it isn’t reserved solely for two-year-old kids suffering from a case of… whatever the hell kids tantrum for. Instead, it’s a careful tool that you must learn to utilize if you are ever going to get stuff done.

Reader, how strongly do you feel about the word “no,” and is there any time you hate to use it?


4 thoughts on “No Isn’t a Dirty Word (#ROW80 Check-in)

    • Yay! Annie stopped by! Welcome! *girlishly gleeful hug!*

      I still owe you sonnet stuff too. I have not forgotten!

      I’m really stubborn when it comes to goals. I love setting them, and I hate admitting that they are too much for me. Work has really put into perspective how much I can handle though… and I’ve just *had* to adjust. If not, I’d lose my motivation and fall into the nothingness that is never updating.

  1. Yep, you’ve got to fit your writing life into your life (or the other way around). There’s always something that’s gotta give.

    And ROW80 updates with content is a good way to conserve blogging time.

  2. I feel you. When I was in school, it was tough to find time to write, work full time and have time to get my assignments done and turned in on time. I hated when profs would give us assignments a week in advance instead of at the beginning of the term. I wanted them all at the beginning so I could get ahead in case life got in the way.

    No isn’t a dirty word, but very difficult to say. Since attending my first writer’s conference and making a commitment to writing at least 100 words a day, saying no has become easier. Writing has become a priority (after Hubby and work, of course) and it’s been easier to stay on track. Good luck with your goals. You’ve got some great ones.


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