The Week that Didn’t Happen


My best friend came to visit last week. I only get to see her once a year, since we’re usually about 3,000 miles apart.  We usually hold a day-long get together, in which I take off from work, meet up with her in some coffee shop, and we talk for hours.

She helps me work through all the issues: work, relationships, even writing. She’s not a writer herself, but she used to live with me. She’s used to the ups and downs, back and forth.

I told her about my recent schedule, and how hectic things have been. I may have even cried once or twice. Things have just been so insane – my boss has cancer and now my whole department could change, my husband just had surgery and (even though he’s recovered) isn’t back to 100%, I’m trying to graduate in the fall, and I’ve been trying so hard to keep blogging multiple times a week, as well as writing 20 pages a day.

She listened to all of this. Nodded in the right places. Then asked: “Why?”

As a writer, I ask “why” and “what if” multiple times a minute. I’m conditioned to question everything around me, it seems. Yet it took the question in the mouth of a concerned friend to make me stop.

“Why, what?”

“Why are you dragging yourself through so much at once? Can’t you just wait to start taking your writing more seriously until after school is done? You’ve only got a few months.”

“Yeah, but – uh…”

But – what? Why? Why was I dragging myself through so much? There were so many excuses (I want to be published by the time I’m 30, write is a verb, etc.) but they all felt too fake to say out loud. They were conditions of the community – something she wouldn’t understand.

So I finally answered: “I don’t know.”

She smiled, in that way she always does when I’m being silly, and patted my hand. “Then cut back to what you have to do. I know you have to write, but just hold off on the 20-page a day thing until you’re out of school.”

So, I bought a little calendar. I blocked out my last day of school. My graduation date. And the day after has Fast Draft written in on it.

Best friends are amazing, aren’t they?

So, uh, last week’s goals

Obviously this means I’m not going to make my goals this round. But I’m also not going to ditch them or change them. I’m just going to continue to fail to meet them because I need to be held accountable. That might sound like masochistic bullshit, but I’m constantly telling people that any progress is good progress.

If I can work on writing even a chapter a week, I’m making progress. Yes, it might not be my two novels I wanted to get done. It might not be the Fast Draft way, but that is just how things will go.

1) Write 20 pages a day – no editing.

On Monday I had hit 15 pages, and on Tuesday another 10. Tuesday was when I met up with my friend… and so Wednesday through Sunday provided no writing. None. I’m okay with that. A week of vacation was well needed.

2) Finish all assignments on Wednesday and Saturday so I can relax on Sunday.

I didn’t actually hit this goal either. However, classes were super easy since it was the first week, so I was done them before 9am Sunday morning. I spent a lot of time this weekend relaxing, which was a really good thing.

3) Finish drafting my solo Fast Draft lessons learned, and my Sunday post.

Hah. I do have some pretty good lines to add to my Fast Draft lessons learned post, but I have not finished it. I didn’t work on anything last week, after Tuesday. I’m a bad person.

4) Remind hubby every day that I love him.

Oh wait. I did this. Yay for being on-top of things!

This week’s goals

1) Re-assess Sigyn’s Cage and write 1 page a day.

Hey, look! I finally have a title for my WIP! This is huge, folks.

I have a couple of plot holes, setting issues, and character development flaws that were brought up during Fast Draft. I need to look these over and make adjustments to my notes.

But because this Round of ROW80 is devoted to “writer” as a verb, I’m still going to stick to putting some sort of words on the page. I’m going to Fast Draft this single page a day and see if I can keep up the practice of turning everything off.

2) Split homework between Saturday and Sunday.

I have four (FOUR!) classes this term. One of those needs at least a 70 to pass. Usually that would be no problem, but with four classes… I’m a little overwhelmed. I think if I split my classes into two days, I should have a lot better of a time with them.

3) Finish posts ahead of time this week.

I’m already on that by drafting my ROW80 Wednesday Check In on Tuesday (hello from the past!), so I need to make sure I keep that going.

4) Re-assess home and work life.

No, I’m not aiming for divorce.

Hubby hasn’t been able to keep up with the chores lately, so I’ve been doing a lot more than I used to. This is all well and good, but with the ever loving pile of crap being dumped on me right now… some stuff just isn’t getting done. I need to review how to attack this before things start growing mold.

At work, things aren’t going well. As previously mentioned, my boss has cancer and has been out of the office for almost two months now. People are starting to rearrange workloads as if he isn’t coming back. My “temporary” new boss and I don’t quite see eye-to-eye… mostly because his eyes are always shifting. I’m not too sure what his management style is, nor am I sure where he lands on workloads and requirements. I’m feeling a little drowning-like over here. I might need to start looking again (ugh.)


A lot of words this week. I’m going to have a much shorter version on Sunday, which will then be followed by my Fast Draft lessons learned.

Until then…


11 thoughts on “The Week that Didn’t Happen

    • Thanks Annie. I kind of feel bad, because I was really amped to try and make that whole “two novels in 80 days” thing work. Mostly because of how impressed you seemed to be.

      *shifty eyes*

  1. What your friend is recommending is a writer’s version of the “Debt Snowball” — a financial recovery concept where you pay the minimum on all of your debts except one, which you put all your energy into. (And it’s best to pick the one that will be quickest/easiest to clear first, because that lightens your load.)

    It works great for when you have too many tasks.

    • Interesting thought! I hadn’t put that together, but it completely make sense. And it’s been completely working. I have felt so much more refreshed this week…


      Oh, Diana, you have no idea how “normal” I am. I try to make myself super motivated… but sometimes you just can’t keep up with even your best intentions.

      That doesn’t mean I’m not giving up… just that I’m accepting that things are way too busy right now to keep up with my goals. After I graduate though… it’s on.

  2. Until a couple weeks ago, I too had survive with only yearly visits from my best friend. It is tough having someone so important far away. With everything on your plate, seems like she visited at a good time. I wish you the best in getting everything straightened out and moving forward.

    • Thanks Gloria! She will be moving out here in a few months (finally) and I feel like things will be right with the universe. Until then… you wonderful ROW80 folken and wonderful followers are just going to have to listen to me work through things around here!

  3. Best friends are amazing and it sounds like you have a great one! I live on the opposite coast from my best friend so I know what it’s like to see her only one time a year (for us, it’s usually at Christmastime because our families live in the same city). Any progress is progress. Honor your successes as well as all of the times you try and don’t completely succeed. Hang in there. You’re going to be fine!

    • I really do… she’s quite a woman.

      We live on the opposite coasts as well! I’m in Seattle and she’s in Philadelphia… but hopefully not for too much longer. She’s planning on moving in mid August, so that should be awesome.

      I love that. “Honor your successes as well as all of the times you try and don’t completely succeed.” That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to say to the many ROWers who get frustrated and claim failure, even if they had a little success.

      Thank you for your kind words and support!

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