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Open Call to Creative Action: February Finish-a-thon!

Need a little kick in the pants in order to move your creative project a few notches higher on the to-do list?

Cathy Coley writes: “In my blog post of Tuesday, January 27, 2009, a challenge was proffered by Liz Hum, a Creative Construction contributor. So much for whining about deadlock, writer’s block, not being able to finish, or even getting a project off the ground. The writers here have challenged each other to a project duel of sorts for the month of February. We are two days from the beginning of the shortest month of the year, so let’s get busy! This is hopefully a variation of nanowhatchacallit for November.”

Fabulous idea, ladies. And everyone can participate, not just writers. If you would like to join us, please post a comment to this blog post. Tell us what you’re going to finish in February. Maybe it’s your novel, or maybe it’s a short story, 10 poems, 5 prints in the dark room, 8 canvases, 48 pinch pots, 15 pairs of earrings, or whatever you’d like to quantify. You might also identify what your primary work opportunities will be: daytime while kids are at school; during baby’s naptime; at night when everyone is in bed; early in the morning when everyone is in bed; your lunch hour at the office; three hours at the coffee shop on Sunday afternoons; etc.

Before submitting your comment, check off the box below the comment field, which reads “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” That way you’ll stay in the loop on everyone’s progress and we can keep in touch as the month progresses.

Firing gun goes off on February 1, 2009! Get ready, get set…..

123 Comments Post a comment
  1. cathy #

    woo-hoo! I’m going to follow the format of the monday page, but hopefully be more specific than i have been there.

    cathy 1.29.2009

    February goal: Complete manuscript! involved in this are these points:

    1. finish plotline to about 20 more pages than current.
    2. re-dip into research for the science in the middle to flush out the main attraction adding about 10-15 pages there. luckily, my son s just walked up with a fantastic resource that he is using for a book report at the same time.
    3.re-read to edit in details formerly bypassed for action, flush out dry scenes, etc. i think i have general personality characteristics of character, but may want to physically describe – or should i leave them in a more ‘everyman’ state for the reader to fill in details?
    4. during re-read, try to recognize crap scenes, no matter how much i may love them, for what they are and cut them. and correct bad grammar or inconsistencies.
    5. by or before February 28th, seriously draw up at least one query letter to an agent in youth publishing.

    How’s that look? conversations on what we’re doing how it’s going, setting writing dates, etc i think should evolve here as well, so we can aid each other and cheer for each other.

    January 29, 2009
  2. Liz #

    I’d look like a real jerk if I didn’t join in, now, wouldn’t I? HA HA!

    GOAL: Finish my children’s story, which is a picture book about a little girl who goes on a quest to find a better substance than peanut butter, since her little brother is allergic to it.

    Broken up, that goal will be to complete four lines of verse every day. I have 18 ballad & Rubaiyat stanzas outlined, and you never know I may need an extra transitional one or 2 in there. I won’t get much done the 14th or the 28th as the former is my anniversary & the latter is my husbands bday.

    Four lines a day. That’s it. It sounds like nothing, but It’s been stalling me for MONTHS.

    GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY!!!

    January 29, 2009
  3. Liz #

    Just making sure I hit notify via email…

    January 29, 2009
  4. I’m in!

    February goal: I’m giving myself 6 months to write the first draft of my Jillian book. Since I’m writing ou a new scene outline and haven’t finished it yet, I’ll just say I need to write 1/6th of the scenes on the outline over the course of the month.

    Time frame: I will mostly be working in the mornings before Tom goes to work, during nap times, and whenever else I can sneak in a few extra moments. My goal is to write for at least an hour (cumulatively) a day.

    January 29, 2009
  5. Kristine #

    Count me in, too. I REALLY need this. Thank you to Liz and Cathy for getting us started.

    February Goal: Finish second draft of novel, which means incorporating the scenes already written and adding new scenes in adherence to my revised outline. I’m focused on story structure in this draft and not editing.

    Time Frame: Working for two hours at night, six days a week. I’m taking Saturday nights off for date night with hubby. 🙂

    Let’s go! I’m excited!

    January 29, 2009
  6. cathy #

    thanks everyone for committing, this is so exciting!

    i think i left off my ‘when i’ll work’ bit: as in all things, in and around the baby naps, et al around here. hopefully my kids will remain healthy and stay in school for February! (this week w/ s at home has me tearing my hair out!)

    generally, mtwf, i have a couple of hours to myself in the house, provided, baby c takes a good am nap. that seems to be my best time. i will catagorically commit to wednesdays, and make the best of the rest. usually i can manage to continue into the afternoon when i catch a good wave of writing, in snatches of time. like yesterday, after be stuck for sooo long, i wrote 3 pages. that’s a lot for me! i will try for at least one or two more similar days as a realistic idealistic goal.

    January 29, 2009
  7. georgiageis #

    Hey everyone! I’m going to get five query letters out in February for feature stories I want to write. I try to work between my part time job and picking up my son from school and late at night.

    January 30, 2009
  8. Just an addendum to what I want to accomplish:

    I’ve outlined 26 major scenes in the book and 1/6th of them is 4.33 scenes. So I am going to shoot for one scene a week during the month of February.

    January 30, 2009
  9. cathy #

    yay, brittany! that’s great. i wish i could look at mine like that, but i think i’m better at thinking about the big chunks and chipping away at them. it’s an arc thing. and i;ve always been bad at outlining – difficult to write beyond the original sketch. that would be my screenplay and my suburb soap opera novel.

    good news is s walked up to me with a school library book for a book report yesterday and it’s the PERFECT reference material. everything i was looking up was too adult-oriented. this is nice and simple, geared toward kids. just like i need.

    January 30, 2009
  10. okay, ya’ll have shamed me into piping in, not that i have anything else on my plate at the moment (and that’s a WHOLE other post…..).

    i’ll be a charter member artisit in the upcoming Riverside Arts market (see my blog for info! very exciting new thing here in town!) so i need to start a lower priced jewerly line. that’s my goal for feb. i’ll commit to a minimum of 10 pieces but i should be able to do more with what i have in mind. i’ll probably work on tuesday and thursday nights and squeeze in time on the weekends wherever i can.

    January 30, 2009
  11. oops…forgot to click the notify button. 🙂

    January 30, 2009
  12. cathy #

    yay! welcome to the art finish-a-thon, kelly!

    January 30, 2009
  13. Liz #

    Everyone ready??? Day ONE is tomorrow! On your marks…. get set…

    January 31, 2009
  14. cathy #

    holy sh**! ha! just kidding, yes ready and rarin’-ta-go!

    January 31, 2009
  15. Kristine #

    Welcome to the challenge, Kelly!

    I’m definitely ready to go. I’m resting tonight to get myself prepared for some major writing in Feb.

    Good luck, everyone! 🙂

    January 31, 2009
  16. I hope everyone started the month with a bang. I’ll be applauding from the sidelines until February 15 (while moving). At that point I’ll post my own finishing goals for the rest of the month.

    Don’t forget to post with sporadic updates–and if you need support, we’re all in this together!

    February 1, 2009
  17. Liz #

    WOOT! One Day – One Stanza!

    Hope everyone else is on track!

    February 1, 2009
  18. Kristine #

    Congrats, Liz!

    Miranda, I hope all goes well with the move. Looking forward to having you join us on the 15th.

    Got off to a good start tonight. Two hours of writing and two chapters polished. Woohoo! 🙂

    I hope everyone had a productive first day.

    February 1, 2009
  19. i feel like i did this challenge in january!! … i have a show in florida (not where i live!) this first week of february … it hangs all month … and i had a zillion and one things to do for it … and i plodded through them all … and got nine new canvases painted this month … so … for the first week, i’ll be in florida hanging my show and resting on my laurels for a moment … maybe when i come back i’ll be ready for the rest of february and make a plan … it’s an exciting idea!

    February 1, 2009
  20. cathy #

    yay, liz! wow elizabeth! kristiune, that’s fab!

    i figured if i can spit out a page and a half a day on average, and manage 3 full days worth of research, good material, etc. i can get it done, broken into hours, a couple hours of research a day for about a week and that’s 1-2 hours of writing per day, 5 days a week. since i don’t work very consistently, i’ll be able to trade off a little of this a little of that per day, and have wiggle room to pump out 3-6 pages in one or nothing in another day.

    too confusing? trying to allow for reality hits, too, like sick kids, which have recently seemed to be a constant…

    have doc open, waiting for nap, baby crawling away at the moment….

    February 2, 2009
  21. Liz #

    You can do it Cathy. Like you said, break it down into manageable chunks. And no facebook! (ha ha!)

    Right back ‘atcha, Kristine! Take each day one at a time. Make it small, but make it consistent.

    And Miranda, don’t push yourself – moving is HUGE. Besides, there will always be March… maybe some spring fever might provide the mania needed to crank something out!

    You know what I did this weekend? I wrote 3 blog entries and put them on a timer, to be posted every other day, so that for the first few days, I am not tempted to blog, which always turns into an hour of random blog and web surfing. It’s hard to keep the internet browser closed when you are at the computer, but as soon as you open it…. there goes time from your real project. That’s my big demon, anyway.

    February 2, 2009
  22. cathy #

    FIVE FRIKIN PAGES DURING NAPTIME TODAY!!!

    and plotted the end chapters’ scenes. final stretch and then go back to research middle 2 chaps i ‘skipped’ still need to know what it’s like in an observatory

    February 2, 2009
  23. Damn, Cathy! I hope everyone can keep up with you! 😉

    February 2, 2009
  24. That’s a great idea for blogging, Liz — bundle the effort. I like it.

    February 2, 2009
  25. cathy #

    aw shucks! i have been not writing it for days in anticipation of a burst. they are generally few and far between, but before i jinx it, i spit on that statement turn 3x to the left and shake salt over it, in the virtual realm of superstitions!

    good news is i really know the next 6ish scenes to write for the conclusion.

    February 2, 2009
  26. I spent 15 minutes this morning re-working my outline. I had some ideas in the shower and jotted them down and then while I was jotting, I realized I had structured The Jillian Book exactly as I had with Home Improvement–with a weak start and too much backstory–so I started re-working my scene structure. Should be ready to go by Thursday. (This week is big spring children’s consignment time and I’m consigning half my house and volunteering, too!)

    February 2, 2009
  27. Kristine #

    Cathy, five pages during naptime is awesome. I’m lucky I can even get the dishes done.

    Sounds like you made good progress on the outline, Brittany. The shower can be a wonderful place to get those creative juices going.

    From how things are going, it looks like we’re all on the road to success this month. Let’s keep that momentum going.

    February 2, 2009
  28. cathy #

    great, btrittany! don’t yuo love those great shower thoughts when you have moment’s peace to yourself?

    February 2, 2009
  29. Elizabeth – where is your exhibit? I do live in Florida, and if it’s not too far away, my mom and I would like to come check it out. Good luck, regardless!

    February 2, 2009
  30. Ok, now for my goal of February, two goals actually.

    I am working on a nonfiction book about the houses in the county where I live. My proposal for it is almost done – lacking about 10 pages, I’d guess. I want to finish that this month and have it sent out to at least one agent. Since it’s nonfiction, I’m sending my stuff out before all of the chapters are completed.

    As you have probably guessed, I’m also a photography. I have a shop on etsy, and I would like to add a few new items this month. So far, I have only posted prints, but I would like to do some other things – like small clipboards, paperweights, some jewelry – that utilize my photographs.

    Good luck to everyone else in the challenge, and I hope we all meet our goals!

    February 2, 2009
  31. Liz #

    I completed 5 stanzas today. I don’t know if someone slipped something in my coffee, but it worked. The only thing is, they were the easy ones…. The rest of it isn’t as mapped out as the beginning. So I know I cannot rest on my laurels, otherwise the rest will prove a huge struggle.

    The cool thing about a challenge like this is that it gives us all a big surge of energy… the hard part is keeping up after the initial surge fizzles out.

    How do you pace yourself? I just seem to operate in manic bursts.

    February 2, 2009
  32. cathy #

    liz and kristine both hve valid points to make about the momentum….i hope it keeps a productive pacing going…i don’t expect to maintain 5 pages during naptime. but i don’t want to chop the writing legs out from under through self-doubt, either!

    e.beck, i can’t wait for you to get back from fl, have fun at your show…

    good ideas, marsanne, keep it up!

    February 2, 2009
  33. Jen at mamasmagicstudio #

    OK, coming in three days late (typical!!!) but here nevertheless! Does it help that I’m already halfway through one of my goals for the month, thanks to the work I got done yesterday and the day before???

    My most pressing goals — because they are the ones that keep getting pushed back — are the ones related to the children’s books:

    1. By Feb, 28th, send out Bedtime Book A and Bedtime Book B, which means:
    2. FINISH A and B (A is in it’s 10th draft or so, really just needs another round of polishing; B is about halfway there) and
    3. Do the research to figure out where to send

    Other creativity goals are for Mama’s Magic Studio:

    1. Keep listing one new item a week, minimum (with all the making and picture taking that goes along with that)
    2. Keep working on the website in progress (ahem. START working on the website in progress that was abandoned as “under construction” months ago….)
    3. Stay on top of blogging

    When will the work time happen? In those stolen daytime moments, during naps occasionally, Tuesday mornings and late at night.

    The good news is I was doing some publishing research this week and stumbled upon a (hopefully) ideal match for Bedtime Book B for publication stuff, so as soon as it’s ready to go I know where I want to send it! I even started a draft of the query letter (and because these kinds of things are the stuff that keeps a ms in my drawer instead of sending it out in the world, that’s why I’m considering this project halfway done, if not more so!)

    Great to see such enthusiasm and progress. May it continue for everybody throughout the month!

    February 3, 2009
  34. cathy #

    great, jen, glad you’re in it with us, sounds like reachable progress, too.

    February 3, 2009
  35. cathy #

    confession time: after monday’s amazing moment, my feb-fin went kaput. got my hair chopperdewski’ed yesterday, and sampson-like haven’t written. i hope that changes today.

    February 4, 2009
  36. Kristine #

    Cathy, I had a flat night last night, as well. Did a little bit of work on a chapter but then nothing. I spent the rest of my two hour slot procrastinating and web surfing (bad, bad, bad).

    It was bound to happen, I suppose. Hope today goes better for you. I’m determined to have a better night tonight.

    I am rather surprised at the progress I am making, though.

    The thing to remember during this (especially for me) is to expect down days. But we’ll do it if we keep getting back on our writing horses and don’t give up.

    And…Welcome Jen! Good to have you with us.

    February 4, 2009
  37. Liz #

    We all have to remind ourselves to force a little work every day, but not get upset about it. Sometimes I do a line or two and space out, and sometimes I crank out a few stanzas. But if I never forced myself to sit and focus on it for awhile every day, I guarantee that not one word would have been written yet.

    Keep on’ keepin’ on, Ladies!

    And I have a question for the fine-artists: We writers get distracted easily by the internet because it’s right there, begging us to have a go, while we came to the computer with the best intentions of word processing ONLY.

    What do the jewelry makers/painters etc. get distracted by?

    (Besides the kids, of course!)

    February 4, 2009
  38. Wow, you guys have been busy. I’ve had an already full plate this week and haven’t been able to get started and won’t be able to until at least Saturday or Sunday, but hopefully, I’ll get there!

    As far as distractions, Liz…..I have them too, and the computer is a BIG one. But when I can detach myself and just stay down in my workshop away from the computer, I do pretty well. Music helps me a lot, but I’m guessing that’s rather distracting for the writers amongst us. If I’m able to turn off the computer, turn off the TV, and turn on some CDs I can get lost in creating for a few hours if everyone else has either gone to bed or is out of the house for a little while. Since I have a fulltime job outside the home, I have to catch my stretches at night and when DH takes the girls for a while on a weekend.

    Sounds like you all are right on track though. Keep it up! It’s only the 4th day in.

    February 4, 2009
  39. cathy #

    it didn’t change today, too many distractions. granted, some were my own, but mostly i was preoccupied with a little peeve this am, and baby c didn’t nap, was teething and fussy, and wouldn’t let me put her down to pee.

    not that i’m making excuses…just a reality check. i am still ahead of the game for the week in page count. hoping tomorrow makes for more.

    kelly, you have loads on your plate, do what you can when you can. as long as you made realistic goals based on your schedule and availability, you’re good.

    i’m with liz and kristine: no sense beating ourselves up about what we don’t accomplish, just do what we can as we can. looking back at everyone’s origianl goals, i think we were all pretty realistic about what we can accomplish, barring any major family health crisies like the holidays that seemed to kick all in the butt, we should all be able to come out of these 28 days with good progress. can’t wait for miranda to join in when she’s done with her move! no pressure, m! only bringing it up because i know you put your 2 cents worth into the game!

    February 4, 2009
  40. Kristine #

    I’m proud to report that I had an extremely productive night. DH put the little one to bed, and I escaped to the local Starbucks for a power writing session. It did wonders. Two and a half hours of focused writing. No Internet. No e-mail. No distractions. It was fantastic, and as an added bonus, I got out of the house for some “me” time that didn’t involve the grocery store.

    Very happy tonight. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    February 5, 2009
  41. Bravo, Kristine! Excellent news….

    February 5, 2009
  42. cathy #

    excellent, kristine! now, if i could just get my busy baby to nap, i might have another good day like monday was. nada since, yet.

    February 6, 2009
  43. Liz #

    Yey Kristine! I had one good stretch, and since then have been plodding. Slowly, but surely… slow and steady wins the race… or at least it ensures you cross the finish line at some point.

    Cathy – how old is the baby? I don’t know if you let your kids watch TV (some moms don’t) but maybe plop the little shnookems in front of a Pixar movie? It’s an hour & a half of (hopefully) quiet time.

    Our TV/playroom is in the basement with the computer. We have the perimeter of the computer area gated off & to work, I just flip on the TV, let the kids play/watch & type. Of course within two minutes, all hell has broken loose and they’re fighting over a toy, needing a snack, spilling something and screaming. Then I feel really guilty for placating them with too much TV and take them upstairs.

    February 6, 2009
  44. Liz #

    PS* Cathy where’s the promised shot w/ the new hairdo?

    February 6, 2009
  45. sounds like you guys are doing well…i have to admit i haven’t started yet! hope to get something done this weekend.

    i agree that limited tv time can be a welcome relief for the right age kids, liz, though i think cathy’s baby c may be little too little! baby einstein’s pretty good c’s age but they only last about 30 minutes. 🙂 have a great weekend all.

    February 6, 2009
  46. cathy #

    oh, i sent it to miranda to make a new avatar, she’s a wee bit busy…

    liz, my boys are tv addicts, and she’s 10 mos old. we don’t turn the tv on during school hours. i’ll get her started, but not yet. i have to re-prep self for the sing-songy set of animation on tv, and do i really want to revisit the myriad of pixars and disneys we own in a variety of formats just yet? although it’s about time for pooh bear.

    nada today, but i did cook an amazing dinner and almost folded all the laundry and had a had a spiritual meeting of the minds with actually live people for a couple of hours today.

    plan b: tomorrow am, leave baby c in bed with daddy. boys in front of tv, and crank some sh** out with my coffee.

    February 6, 2009
  47. Kristine #

    Cathy….look at you! Great picture. You look fabulous, girlfriend! 🙂

    February 6, 2009
  48. Cathy #

    hmmm…i relogged in and everything, still see the old ugly mug. but thanks. kristine!

    February 6, 2009
  49. Cathy #

    hhhmmmm, quizzically, it’s in my wordpress profile yet, logging in and out over and over, it’s still coming up ugly mug….

    February 6, 2009
  50. Kristine #

    That’s really weird because I see your old pic now, too! Your new one disappeared. But it was there. I swear.

    WordPress can be really weird about avatars. A few weeks ago, mine disappeared into cyberspace even though I uploaded it over and over again.

    Maybe it will come back soon.

    But I’m glad I got to see it…for however short a time.

    February 6, 2009
  51. Over this week, I have managed to complete a clipboard and a paperweight using my photography. Of course, on the clipboard, there are some other paper elements as well, so I’m guessing it would be mixed media? At any rate, they are now posted on my etsy shop: http://www.creatingcharacter.etsy.com. Please stop by and take a look and let me know what you think. I am also posting them on my blog: http://www.creatingcharacter.blogspot.com, so that others who don’t visit my etsy shop will see them.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t made any progress on my proposal for Turn of the Century Houses, but I am positive that I can complete it this month. I simply have to focus 🙂

    Hope all is going well with everyone else! Good luck!!

    February 7, 2009
  52. Liz #

    Awesome hair, Cathy! I wish I had sharp enough facial features to go that short.

    How did we all do?

    I did not have a productive weekend. I only got 1 line done, but another week is about to begin!

    February 8, 2009
  53. Cathy #

    i flew a kite yesterday. it seemed the important thing to do. but i just opened ‘felix’ and once i check in to my monday page entry, i’m hoping i can get back to it like last monday!

    thanks, liz. it’s shocking the heck out of people in these parts. once a decade i do this. on the phone, my brother asked my dh if i only did one side….harkening back to something i did in 84. the little brat. 😉 (who is about 10″ taller than me since about then)

    one line is productive! it’s more than i did!

    February 9, 2009
  54. Cathy #

    can someone please tell my baby to take a 2 hour nap in a crib or play yard instead of 30min on me? if she doesn’t, i’ll never focus on my manuscript!

    February 9, 2009
  55. Kristine #

    I’m happy with my progress. As of tonight, I’ll have 100 pages of my novel rewritten–some new scenes, some old scenes. I realized today that I will need at least a few more drafts, but with every baby step, I get one step closer to my goal.

    Cathy, it sounds like we need to have a meeting with your baby so you can get some writing done. 🙂 I hope things turn around soon. I know how difficult it can be.

    Good luck this week, everyone!

    February 9, 2009
  56. Cathy #

    marsanne and kristine, good work! i got about 1 page in today. baby c is really testing my availability to write. i’m not really pleased about what i wrote, but i got it down and it can be reworked later.

    February 10, 2009
  57. Liz #

    Hey ladies! I am plodding through. This is the hard part of the story… but I am putting one word in front of the other.

    I am not jazzed about what I wrote yesterday, either, but that’s okay. It’s a good foundation.

    We can do it.

    PS – cathy – how long did it take to change your “gravatar”? I changed mine yesterday morning, but it still only shows up in my account profile. What gives?

    February 10, 2009
  58. Cathy #

    hi liz,
    miranda did it for me cause i’m technoflub – not a technophobe, just someone who doesn’t get it and gets frustrated when she tries. and i have a weird relationship with electronics – they tend to go kaflooey around me, even when i don’t do anything, just in the vicinity! i think i have a weird electro-magnetic force field. i have another friend who has the same issues with electronics.

    and then i just waited it out, i think it took 24 hours to set? like a bad perm, i guess… 😉

    the thing that’s getting me, is if c would nap off of me i could type faster, more focussed and less backache-ily (there’s a new word?). what i wrote today is really plodding along. not storytelling, just getting down the basics of scene and how the main character feels about what’s happening in the moment. it’s like i talked about what i want to happen rather than it happening. bleh.

    February 10, 2009
  59. Liz #

    How is everyone doing before heading into the weekend?

    Instead of actually “writing” I did an outline for the rest of my stanzas. Admittedly, I have lost a little steam, but I am still forcing myself to open the document and work every day.

    I’m still on track, though!

    February 12, 2009
  60. Cathy #

    thanks for asking, liz, iwas thinking it was a bit quiet over here.

    i had one day i could write, and not very much or well this week. c still won’t nap, but finally did today so i could clean in prep for a picnic that’s moving indoors here from a park for 35 people, many asperger children and teens and their families. this should be a very interesting couple of hours, as most aspies don’t respond well to crowds or enclosed spaces, and the combination – whoa! but we’ll live, it will be an adventure, and we have wii and ps2.

    February 12, 2009
  61. Kristine #

    I’m still plugging away but also running out of steam a bit…hoping to get more time this weekend to get back on track.

    I hope everyone has a productive weekend.

    February 12, 2009
  62. I’ve been AWOL lately because I just didn’t have the stamina to deal with my mom visiting, consignment sales, a trip to Atlanta and Asheville, etc. But now that the house and my life are (relatively) quiet again, scene #1 is coming together. For a first draft I’m very pleased with it. I’ve obviously learned a lot about writing since I started Home Improvement in Nov ’05.

    I am pretty confident that I won’t be meeting my 4 scene goal this month. I’ve come to the conclusion that I chronically overbook myself and that it isn’t the end of the world if I’m not insanely productive at this time in my life. I miss sewing, dollmaking, embroidering, etc. and I’ll enjo writing a lot more if I write when the mood strikes and not try to force myself into a faster pace that I can really maintain.

    This overdrive mentality is aking its toll on my nerves and I am not taking care of myself in the way that I should. I’ve been ltting my writing sustain my health, when it’s my health that should sustain my writing. So instead of skiping the gym to write, I’m going to stat scheduling gym time and write when I’m inspired rather than scheduling (not too productive) writing time and hitting the gym when inspired. Hopefully it will curb my emotional eating and bring balance to my life.

    So far, 2009 is my “year of tweaking.”

    February 13, 2009
  63. Cathy #

    brittany, i think you just said it for me. i can’t force it, or it sucks. having said that, if i don’t at least open my doc nearly everyday and keep it in mind the rest of the time, i may just never finish. i think i’ve blogged similar before. but i still want to try.

    baby c is asleep on me at the moment, and there’s plenty more i need to do at the moment, between guests coming later and big party i’m throwing tomorrow, but wish me luck in laying her down somewhere else, so my right arm doesn’t go numb from trying to type with her on it, which is happening now, btw. i must write! i also must pee! i can’t do much about either with my little sweetie on me….

    February 13, 2009
  64. Kristine #

    Brittany, I am a classic “overbooker.” In fact, just this month, right after signing up for this Finish-a-Thon, I decided to go back on my diet! Crazy! Now I’m obsessing about being hungry all the time and finishing my second draft at the same time. I must be nuts.

    Congratulations on getting your scene written. Hey, it was one scene you didn’t have written before, right? Each scene brings you closer to your goal.

    I also probably won’t be meeting my full goal this month, but I may come pretty close, which is just fine with me.

    But hey, we still got two weeks left. You never know what will happen.

    Cathy, good luck with your party tomorrow!

    February 13, 2009
  65. Cathy #

    the weather looks like it’ll hold for outside, though cooler than some will want. less crazy for me!

    February 14, 2009
  66. Liz #

    I came down with a stomach bug on Thurs night (1-2AM) and it lasted throughout Friday. No vomiting, just the other stuff with intense nausea. No fever that I was aware of, or body aches. I felt better by late Friday night & almost normal on Saturday. I didn’t eat much, but had no issues other than anxiety. Sun morning, I got diarrhea again, but felt all right for the rest of the day & ate. Last night/this morning diarrhea again.

    Lovely.

    So, needless to say, I have written nothing. And I don’t know why this is still lasting, so who knows when I’ll want to sit at the computer for more than 10 minutes at a time.

    February 16, 2009
  67. cathy #

    so sorry you feel bech, liz. i wouldn’t write either.

    i also did not write this weekend, but had fun with our out of town guests and the aspie picnic. i would write today, but fear too much distraction with the boys home from school for presidents day. so, once s writes his dare essay, we are going to the virginia living museum – part zoo, part aquarium, part observatory, all local habitat and wildlife. here’s hoping the rest of the week stays quite because next weekend is booked, too.

    February 16, 2009
  68. I didn’t do any writing either, although I did go to my novel writer’s critique group and got some great suggestions for ways to improve the final chapters of Home Improvement.

    I really haven’t been in the mood to write lately. John’s cutting his top front teeth and isn’t sleeping well, and only sleeps when he’s in bed with me. Sam’s been up and down the past few nights and before that he was up before 5. I’m exhausted and when I’m honest with myself, don’t really feel like writing right now anyway. It just doesn’ feel fun right now. I’d rather go work out at the gym and take the boys to the park and clean the house.

    February 16, 2009
  69. Jen #

    Hey all! I’m chiming in on the “didn’t do diddly” chorus (btw, Cathy, I LOVED your flying a kite. Just loved it!) Not in the last week, at least. My parents have been in town, visiting from the East Coast, right on the heels of a visit from my sister and her family. Wonderful to see them all, but absolutely impossible to get anything done other than visiting. Still, I feel like it has refilled the well to be around family, so that’s good. (Along with all the rain, there’s a lot of replenishing going on I think!)

    Liz, I hope you’re feeling loads better, Brittany I hope those teeth come through soon. Kristine, thanks for reminding us that there’s still time left to get things done! Looking forward to hearing how everybody is doing in the second half of the month….

    February 16, 2009
  70. cathy #

    thanks, jen! 2nd half of the month?! oh jeez.

    February 16, 2009
  71. Kristine #

    Well, I also have to join the group. I got nothing accomplished this weekend. No real good excuse, either. Just felt a little burnt out on my manuscript, I suppose.

    Liz, I hope you’re feeling better.
    Cathy, I’m glad your party went well.

    Maybe it’s the middle-of-the-month-slump we’re all feeling. I hope to get some work done this week. Crossing fingers….

    February 16, 2009
  72. cathy #

    it’s 9:10am, baby’s eyes are closed, boys are off to school, mil is off to pool and dh is off to work….opening doc, hoping i can lay c down in a few minutes, wish me luck! i feel excited about the prospect of writing right now. a very good sign.

    February 17, 2009
  73. cathy #

    i wrote 2 more scenes and prepped for the following. if she takes another good nap later(or grandma takes her) and the boys are too in my face when they’re home, i may be able to pump out the next.

    when i’m in the right frame of mind and the baby sleeps, i can do pretty well. i just don’t seem able to sync the two very well along with the quiet house.

    I need to hit the kid’s section of the library, too, pick up some stuff on astronomy and observatory operations so i can right it on kid level. and so i can understand it better, too!

    February 17, 2009
  74. cathy #

    oops re: …and the boys are too in my face when they’re home…

    i meant are NOT too in my face…

    February 17, 2009
  75. Liz #

    Hey ladies! Thanks for all the well-wishes. I think I am okay, but we’ll see next bathroom trip (I haven’t been since early yesterday morning). Jeez – I have never had an intestinal bug last so long before.

    Other than that, I opened a facebook account last night and Darin is none too happy, which is in turn making me none to happy, so I am trying to ignore it all and open my document and get to it.

    You know, it’s not just the time constraints, the kids & the illness – now it’s the drama that gets in the way, too.

    The important thing is to go in and tinker a bit everyday. You never know when you’ll get inspired!

    February 17, 2009
  76. Liz, the bug we had before Christmas lasted at least 10 days. It was miserable, and then Sam and I passed it on to the in-laws. Know you can still be contagious for up to two weeks after the symptoms clear up.

    I hear you about the drama. I’m sick of feeling double parked, over-booked, and like I can’t take a breath because of so much life encroaching. While this February Finish-a-thon was a great idea in concept, I have come to the conclusion that I have got to stop pushing myelf so hard and signing myself up for more hurdles. I’ve been pulling back the last few weeks and I feel much better for it. Yeah, I’ve barely gotten anything accomplished this month, but I’m okay with that…

    February 17, 2009
  77. Kristine #

    I’m also accepting the fact that I will not meet my goal of a completed second draft this month despite my best intentions earlier this month. But I did make more progress than I would have done without the Finish-a-Thon, so I’m very happy. And the work I do accomplish in the next two weeks will be a bonus. (Still making the effort every night.) Maybe I need another power writing session for a strong finish.

    February 17, 2009
  78. I had a dream last night that I was hanging out with all of you, the blog sisters. For some reason, I was pontificating (who, me?). You were all anxious about the February deadline and I had to tell you this: the secret is in letting things go. When you have young children, you simply can’t worry about the housework if you want to be creative. Decide that you can live with lower standards — it’s not forever.

    Now, I have no reason to believe that any of you would name housework as your main obstacle to creative time, but that’s how my dream played out. So in case it’s relevant to anyone, there it is. (Clearly this doesn’t apply to dealing with illnesses and the usual chaos of life.)

    Don’t be too hard on yourself if the month isn’t going as you’d intended. All of you are working hard. The month is only half over. Don’t forget about the progress that you’re making in your “off” hours, thinking about your project, living with it. That percolation time will pay off.

    It’s easy for me to say, seeing as I’m not participating (yet!) but I think the only area where you *shouldn’t* cut yourself slack is if you are clearly wasting time doing something that doesn’t feed you. If you’re spending too much time on Facebook, watching TV, reading People magazine, eating ice cream — whatever it is, if there is something that you’re doing that you don’t feel good about, and you think that you’re doing that thing instead of being creative, then take a look at it. (And I’m not saying that you SHOULD feel badly about any of those things; it’s just that I know that *I* have at times relied on each of those particular items as a tool to avoid creativity and I have felt uncomfortable about it.)

    It’s possible that your well needs filling, and you’re trying to fill it in the wrong way. Read some poetry, peruse a book of art, listen to some beautiful music, go outside and look at the sky. Take a deep breath. Move your body.

    Don’t forget that the greatest gift you have to offer this world is yourself. Express that self, in your chosen art form. Don’t deny us!

    February 17, 2009
  79. cathy #

    EXCELLENT advice, miranda! feed the well – well! i was pretty good about staying off fb the past couple of days. i think that helped a lot. it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex.

    must be ready advice b/c you’re outside looking in on us: glad you’re getting settled into your new digs.

    my main block has def been c’s teething from h***! thankfully she is snoozing now. however, at night i’m brain dead. better for me to write in the am.

    must have been a fun dream! and i am not accepting defeat! i will go down fighting! hee-hee. calling it mid-month slump.

    February 17, 2009
  80. Kristine #

    Miranda, you are a true inspiration and leader. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    My problem is that I thought I could do two huge things at one time: finish the second draft and start my diet. I’m notorious for taking on too much and then being hard on myself when I don’t achieve perfection. ((sigh))

    So I’m taking a step back and giving myself a break. I’m taking pleasure in my daily accomplishments and no longer obsessing over what I need to accomplish by the end of the month. It’s a journey not a sprint.

    Have I said lately how grateful I am to be a part of this community?

    February 17, 2009
  81. Kristine #

    Go, Cathy, Go! I’m still in the race, too, just moving at a slower pace and taking some water breaks along the way.

    We all can make it to the finish line if we stick together.

    February 17, 2009
  82. cathy #

    oh sh**:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29055716/?GT1=43001

    this was the premise of my youth novel and now look!!

    this keeps happening when i work on something. i had a great title for another wip years ago and then someone else beat me to publishing a novel, and now an hbo series of the same name: big love.

    February 18, 2009
  83. It’s a cool idea. How close are you to the finish line?

    February 18, 2009
  84. cathy #

    20-25 pages and a hint of research. although, i think that’s it sitting in the article! just a little more on observatories….

    February 18, 2009
  85. sounds like you are doing well, cath!

    and excellent advice in your dream, miranda. yet i think you guys have ALL been doing well simply because you’ve been taking the time to reflect on what you’ve done (or felt you haven’t done) here. i, on the other hand, have officially thrown in the towel! this month just hit too many bumps for me. between getting a little out of whack worrying about health issues, prepping for and surviving our state conference (pictures in my FB), and still working on the house redo, i haven’t had the energy to get down to my workshop. i typically take off january-mid march from the art show circuit, so i guess my heart just wasn’t in it to create ten new necklaces right now. i haven’t even finish photographing pieces i completed last november and december!

    i like what kristine said here: “So I’m taking a step back and giving myself a break. I’m taking pleasure in my daily accomplishments and no longer obsessing over what I need to accomplish by the end of the month. It’s a journey not a sprint.” well said, kristine! i completely agree.

    keep up the good work, guys!

    February 18, 2009
  86. Liz #

    Love your input, Miranda. I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s not just life that gets in the way… it’s those distractions.

    I think the whole point of the Finish-a-Thon was not to say “I made a huge goal and must accomplish it at all costs.” It was to say “I have been upset for a month (or more) about not finishing this project, so this month, I will not get distracted and I will focus on it in my spare time.”

    I think we women tend to take on the world & then blame ourselves for it weighing too much. That, and we never get used to the ratio of things we could easily accomplish in a given hour pre-kids becoming the amount of things we might be able to get accomplished in a week if we really forced ourselves post-kids.

    So no self-flagellating! Get out in the fresh air a bit, do what YOU need to do. No guilt, no pressure – just focus if you really want it and put it aside if you are suffering for it.

    I have put facebook down for a few days to finish my last few stanzas (so if any of you are in my friends queue, I promise I won’t leave you hanging too long… ha ha!)

    February 19, 2009
  87. cathy #

    *I think the whole point of the Finish-a-Thon was not to say “I made a huge goal and must accomplish it at all costs.” It was to say “I have been upset for a month (or more) about not finishing this project, so this month, I will not get distracted and I will focus on it in my spare time.” *

    phew!

    kelly, don’t sweat it!

    February 19, 2009
  88. cathy #

    i am snickerdoodling again. does that count on creativity? i think so, as long as i don’t count calories….

    February 20, 2009
  89. works for me, cathy! i LOVE snickerdoodles!

    February 20, 2009
  90. Jen #

    Yes, Cathy, snickerdoodling ABSOLUTELY counts as creativity! (Love that you made it into a verb!! LOL!)

    It’s so nice to come hear and see what everybody has to say and how we’re all doing. Especially appreciate the insights linto how this absolutely should NOT become another reason to feel badly about not being/doing/making/writing “enough.” Liz, I love what you said, ” I think we women tend to take on the world & then blame ourselves for it weighing too much.” Who are we all, Atlas or something? 🙂 I find myself thinking, “First step for solving the problem is recognizing it…!” Hurrah for putting down the world and just living in it, instead.

    Miranda, you’re spot on about refilling the well. I kept coming back to that the whole time my houseguests were here. Being with family nourishes my spirit more than almost anything, and I don’t get to see them nearly enough, so I didn’t feel badly that I wasn’t doing the stuff from my goals. (Granted, I somehow forgot about the 2 1/2 weeks of their visit during the month when I was laying out my goals! Oops!) Anyway, I knew that once they were gone, I’d be in an even better place to go back to things and make progress.

    Which has turned out to be true! I have now sent out a query for one of the bedtime books, finished four pairs of knitting needles (except for the final wax down; gotta let the epoxy dry further!) and now so long as the weather holds for outdoor pictures I will be able to get them listed soon. Not exactly one a week, but better than nothing! Plus I started doing my business taxes (which I don’t think was even on my original goals list, but needs to happen!)

    It isn’t what I’d originally envisioned, but it’s so much more than it might have been, so much more than it probably would have been if I hadn’t articulated it here. So I’m satisfied — and the month isn’t over yet!

    February 20, 2009
  91. Jen #

    Um… come “here” (that’s what i get for doing computer work while also conversing with the preschooler!) sorry about any other typos!

    February 20, 2009
  92. cathy #

    congratulations for the full well, jen!

    so all this talk of alternate creativities is putting me in mind of this summer when i was dragging around kerri smith’s wreck this book. i may have to dig that back out and remember to play in creativity, remember to play in writing, too. or break out a sketch pad from god knows where and do a little sketching between cleaning and various activities this weekend. maybe i’ll sketch some gowns while watching the oscars….

    ebeck is great at maintaining a sense of play in her painting and blogging, too….

    February 20, 2009
  93. I’ve had a February Finish-a-thon ephiphany and that is that I need to breathe. I have been going full throttle with this writing stuff since 2005, without letup, without a break, literally eating, sleeping, and breathing writing without giving myself permission to piddle around. Somewhere along the way, it became out production and stopped being fun.

    This month, the more I pushed myself, the more I resisted the pushing. It sounds completely lazyand self-indulgent, but I just want to breathe right now, have a little space, and piddle.

    Society doesn’t reward lazy piddlers, so I find myself reluctant to admit in public that that’s what I currently aspire to, but there you have it. There has got to be a time when we stop putting demands on ourselves and open ourselves up to a world sitting still.

    February 20, 2009
  94. three cheers for piddling, brittany!

    i have spells of hard work and grand production …
    and i have spells of “life interfering” when i don’t have time to focus on my art …. or can’t make the time ….
    and i have times of piddling … when i have time to paint, but just piddle and dither and do some but not much …. when, for whatever reason, the muse isn’t with me ….

    but if you know that you have these phases ….( i was going to say seasons … but i’ll need to think of another one) … if you know you have different phases of productivity, it makes each one easier to accept and work through …. i don’t think it is possible to be non stop in one phase …. you need to find a balance … allow yourself the balance ….

    tra la la ….

    February 20, 2009
  95. cathy #

    brittany, i do believe you are absolutely right. go piddle, you’ve been hard at this for a long time!

    elizabeth, you are speaking to me completely. i think i’ve been ‘beating myself up’ not really, but publicly, because there was a dose of shame about only writing a few pages on a single day during the feb-fin. but honestly, that’s how this whole thing has been progressing since i re-opened the ms last summer. it’s generally tuesday or wed mornings, that i spit out a few pages. i’ve even blogged this, a couple of times! how soon we forget….i’m not on my set goals pace, but i’m still working right on my usual pace (minus holiday and illnesses stretch), and have been keeping up varied contest entries and a blog a week since i started doing each of those. then i bake regularly, cook creatively some of the time, and cook the usual, cooking has always been a creative outlet for me. not to mention untold made up baby songs and finding interesting things to do with her and the boys.

    i’m not as nearly as prolific as john updike, but i carry a dose of what i recently heard upon his passing. in a charlie rose interview, he said ‘i feel guilty if i don’t write six days a week.’

    the difference is he was able to write well and more consistently by keeping that schedule. gee, i wonder who was raising his kids while he did so? perhaps his wife….

    February 20, 2009
  96. cathy #

    take an ‘as’ out of the john updike sentence. i forgot to.

    February 20, 2009
  97. Kristine #

    I truly believe this Finish-a-Thon has been good for all of us. Just look at how much we’re learning about each other!

    I think it’s important to set goals and work consistently to meet those goals. For me, I may have been a little unrealistic in what I wanted to accomplish this month. But…in doing so, I was able to finish the big first chunk of my book, one I’d been struggling with since the beginning. I never would have done that without the motivation I obtained through starting this project with all of you.

    Even more so, I think we all gained permission (either from ourselves or from each other) to take a break and cherish those stolen moments when we are able to accomplish even the smallest creative task in spite of everything life throws at us–illness, sleep deprivation, needy children, etc.

    One more week. Let’s make it a good one!

    February 20, 2009
  98. i 100% agree with you brittany! very funny that so manyof us are all the on the same wavelength here! i wrote a post on my happy shack blog yesterday (humming john lennon) that i reworked for posting here and it deals with this very “piddling” as brittany called it. it’s sitting in the cc que as we speak! just haven’t heard from miranda as to when it’s going up. it’ll probably be old news now!

    February 21, 2009
  99. cathy #

    i think it’s that ‘allow yourself to be open’ thing.

    yet, i can’t help that back of my head voice which says, ‘are we just making excuses to stay away from the computer, canvas, etc…?’

    THEN i think, we can’t make our art if our noses are too close to the grindstone to see the moments of serendipity that the muse loves so much.

    ok, great discussion, but i’m going to quit analyzing now! that always get me in trouble. i’ll go have another cuppa joe and relax, look out the window at the morning light, before bringing order out of the chaos that is my son’s room.

    February 21, 2009
  100. LOL — sorry, Kelly — you’re up for Monday 🙂

    February 21, 2009
  101. cath, i simply will not look at it as making excuses. that voice in my head has been fully extinguished. sometimes i find that pushing my self on these things takes me away from the things that should really matter. that’s what my post is about. maybe it’s different for me because i work full time outside the home, while you guys are working full time inside the home. while all that time with your kids may drive you batty at times, at least you are getting all that time with your kids. that’s what i’m missing. if i can get them out of their room this morning (they currently have themselves locked in there playing some secret game), we’re having a girls day out.

    February 21, 2009
  102. cathy #

    good, kelly! mine’s an old voice, too, but it scratches at the door like a small cat wanting to be let in.

    February 21, 2009
  103. cathy #

    still talking, will leave, i promise, but i really want to acknowledge that i think i’ve shone more light on this voice by being in a public forum, than how much the guilt is really affecting the writing.

    February 21, 2009
  104. Cathy said, “yet, i can’t help that back of my head voice which says, ‘are we just making excuses to stay away from the computer, canvas, etc…?’ ”

    Normally, I’m in the habit of making every excuse in the world why I can’t do something BECAUSE I want to write. When I don’t want to write anymore, and start dragging my feet on it, it means that something is out of whack in my life and I need to re-evaluate and re-balance my life before doing any more.

    February 21, 2009
  105. cathy #

    yep, brittany, your earlier epiphany is right on target.

    i’m sorry i brought up the back of the head voice. it’s just there for self-doubt.

    February 21, 2009
  106. Liz #

    Okay, I have to tell you all I did do it. I finished my children’s story. I am not 100% happy with my last two stanzas (the last one will need to be re-written) but it is done to the point I can send it off to my illustrator.

    I got it accomplished because it was a small feat. I wasn’t trying to tackle a novel or anything big, just write 4 lines of rhyming verse form stanzas that were already outlined.

    And I did it because I knew it was something I was “putting off” not because I wanted to, but because I was (fill in the blank: lazy, anxious, bored, depressed). So, it feels good…

    And now I’m thinking (like a good ‘supermom’) “okay, now I can start my novel and do my salad cookbook, and finish my friend’s wedding video and….”

    February 23, 2009
  107. cathy #

    go liz! and you still have a week to go! (now you just need to send it out, and an editor will tell you what to fix…)

    yeah, i’m thinking ahead to my screenplay and a couple of other old projects, too. but i’m not done yet! bye! quickly!

    February 23, 2009
  108. Here’s what I did today instead of writing:

    I picked Sam up at preschool and we chased the (very well-timed) train down main street, all the way to mcdonalds, where I made a spontaneous detour. Then we drove to the park and picnicked at a table in the sunny spot beside a huge oak tree. Some squirrels smelled our lunch and came exploring. They decided that our offerings were to their liking, and, much to our delight, they joined us (literally at our feet) at the picnic table, where we all enjoyed Ronald McDonald’s finest. When there was no more food to share, we went to the park and played on the equipment for almost an hour, where I made a new mom friend who was there with her two boys. It was a beautiful day. 🙂

    February 23, 2009
  109. congrats, liz! good for you!

    brittany, that’s my kind of day. 🙂

    February 23, 2009
  110. Congratulations, Liz! I love that. A reasonable goal — and a goal achieved.

    I think it’s that “putting it off” thing that is key — when we put something off because we’re squirmy about sitting in the chair, or when we put something off because it is too easy to let the domestic wave swallow us up.

    I just commented a long related ramble on Kelly’s post of today.

    February 23, 2009
  111. Liz #

    Thanks, Ladies! Miranda, I am with you 110%. Is Brittany’s day worth putting off writing for? ABSOLUTELY! But when you know you are doing something unproductive (this does not include actual rest!) instead of nurturing your creativity… well, that’s when you have to force yourself a bit and you’ll be surprised at what comes out.

    February 23, 2009
  112. Kristine #

    Congratulations, Liz! Your accomplishment is what this Finish-a-Thon is all about. Good for you!

    Brittany, you had a *wonderful* day. I wish I could have done the same. We had three inches of snow today, so no outside picnics for us yet.

    Today, I printed out the chapters I wrote this month and was pleasantly surprised at what I accomplished. So I’m celebrating, too, and hoping to finish out the month by getting some revisions done on my outline in preparation for the next chunk of the novel.

    February 23, 2009
  113. cathy #

    good to hear, kristine! and brittany’s day was great! liz, your right, when you find yourself putzing, write, but when it’s real rest, do that.

    c is nursing to sleep. if i can put her down, i was having shower thoughts re ms today. may actually get something done.

    and happy fat tuesday, all!

    February 24, 2009
  114. Liz #

    Congrats, Kristine!!! And, yes! Happy fat tuesday! (wow I can’t believe we’re there all ready.)

    February 24, 2009
  115. cathy #

    well, i managed a little tweaking in ms before i tried to lay c down and she woke! gave her a bath, and instead of calming her, she’s now raring to go…

    February 24, 2009
  116. cathy #

    i have finally determined that the main thing holding me back on completing this manuscript, is the inability to get 4 consecutive hours of sleep.

    i honestly don’t know how my dh is functioning at his office, but he manages to do what they need him to do – intricate 3-d virtual design that is supposed to be built in aluminum and steel, hold massive weight in lighting and sound equipment, then be easy to disassemble on the fly, too…

    February 26, 2009
  117. Kristine #

    I am so sorry, Cathy. Sleep deprivation is horrible. I really hope things get better soon. You need the rest!

    February 26, 2009
  118. Kristine #

    In one last effort to make a good Finish-a-Thon finish, I went to Starbucks tonight. Not exactly a “power writing” session, but I did work through some snags in my story. It felt good. I really need to make an effort to get out of the house with my laptop at least once a week. Working outside the home for a few hours makes all the different for me.

    I can’t believe February is almost over. Didn’t we just start this thing?

    February 26, 2009
  119. cathy #

    thanks, kristine. and i’m glad you got out, those snags are the best to get past. i agree that feb has flown! i have one more ‘option’ to work on the ms today, here’s hoping for a nap for c before the half-day dismissal bus arrivals 1st one is noon….

    i really hope she naps anyway, she was up every 30mins to nurse last night. ican’t see straight.

    February 27, 2009
  120. Liz #

    Well, February ends midnight tomorrow. Let us NOT dwell on anything we haven’t accomplished, but what we did. Whether you finished a huge project or just a page of writing, OR took time to actually relish your life and family instead of slaving in front of the computer, the fact is we all accomplished something.

    We all shifted our focus and decided what was important.

    It’s not just creativity that passes us by when we’re busy being anxious, lazy or procrastinating, it’s the quality of our life, too.

    I have been thinking about scheduling & focusing in a new way this month – I’ll probably blog about it next week, cause I gotta run for now.

    But congratulations, everyone! We made it through February! We ALL did something! It was fun, thanks for participating with me!!!

    February 27, 2009
  121. cathy #

    what a nice note, liz! and you’re right, we did all do something productive.

    and just because we didn’t necessarily accomplish the title by finishing (except liz!), doesn’t mean the outstanding projects are worthless, either! or ourselves.

    i have been thinking about writing while c is currently napping off of me, but am considering baking with the boys (more s than k, but k may join me, if he so danes) when they arrive home from halfday; am finishing the week’s laundry and i just busted out a quick contest piece. so while i may not have opened my big doc this am, i recognize i am still in creative mode. i think that has been my big lesson from this challenge.

    February 27, 2009
  122. Kristine #

    Well said, Liz! I’m happy with what I accomplished this month, as well as what I learned about myself and my life.

    Congratulations to EVERYONE! We all should be very proud.

    February 27, 2009
  123. Jen #

    Well here it is March 1 (as usual, I’m late to the party…) but I wanted to check in one last time. Loved your last post, Liz. What a wonderful reminder. Thank you everybody for the insights, support, and good humor that you added to my month — I greatly appreciate it! I learned a lot this February (about myself, about you wonderful women, and about the creative process). I also accomplished more than I otherwise would have. Yay for that!

    March 1, 2009

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