ROW80, writing challenge, author, novel, book, blog, typewriter

ROW80 – Sunday Update & Song Prompts

Seeing as I only updated late on Thursday, I don’t really have that much to tell you today.

The clocks changed last night, and that’s, usually, when my SAD kicks in properly, so I’ll see how it goes from here on in. I’ve already had my SAD light out for a while, but I find it very hard to concentrate on tasks (and finish them) at this time of year, my energy levels are in the basement and as much as I’d love to write for ROW80 and NaNoWriMo as well as finish several short courses I had signed up for before my university matriculation was decided on and approved, it’s going to be tough. And if push comes to shove, my studies take priority, no matter how much I’d rather be writing.

I didn’t get anything done on Friday as I looked after my gran for seven hours. Even though I had my study material and notebook on me (and out in the open in front of me), gran told me all about the “good old days” and didn’t give me a chance to concentrate on what I needed to get done.

Yesterday, I finally found the Google Chrome StayFocusd Extension, which will, hopefully, stop me from getting distracted on the interwebs.  I have now set it to stop me from accessing the likes of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter etc. between 9am and 8pm every day in order to focus on my studies and writing.

I dedicated yesterday to studying and coffee with friends so for once I haven’t written anything for ROW80 in two days. However, I have have decided to try song prompts for the next few stories.

A Round of Words, 80 Days, Writing, challenge, ROW80, author, novel, book

My 2013 NaNoWriMo story The Bravery of the Soldier was partially influenced by the song Scrabble in Afghanistan by The Jamie Freeman Agreement, (and yes, that’s the older brother of actor Martin Freeman) so I figured I’m going to use their album 100 Miles from Town as inspiration and come up with short stories for a few of their songs. Normally I’m not into folk, western or Americana music, but I actually find them easy to listen to, and not too distracting while I work (says the indie and punk rock girl….).

I’m on track with my blog posts and Study. Read. Write. is definitely seeing an increase in traffic, which is amazing! You guys are awesome!

So now I’m going to use the last few minutes of internet-time before my self-enforced isolation kicks in. After that it’s study time!

Check out what the other ROW80 participants are up to. Here’s the link to the Blog Hop!

And if anyone wants to participate in a small, blog hop about writing processes, please let me know! Still looking for 2-3 people I can introduce! 🙂



9 thoughts on “ROW80 – Sunday Update & Song Prompts”

  1. Using music for prompts works, depending how you work when writing. Instrumental, epic music, soundtracks that is a little crescendo, would get the creative mojo flowing.
    I have meagre selection of music, youtube has a good selection, I should check if the indie bands are still on YouTube. I’m more of the instrumental listening type of fella.
    Anyways, its not how what you write, it’s the journey of writing. 😉 😛


    1. Usually, I don’t listen to music much while I write as it distracts me. I’d rather have chatter in the background. I do quite like the BBC Sherlock soundtrack (instrumental: orchestra, violin) though. I first heard Scrabble in Afghanistan halfway through writing Bravery and it just fit perfectly and inspired the next chapter. The songs I’m thinking about using as prompts have quite a vivid imagery. One’s about a game of chess, one is a proper Rockabilly “Boy meets girl” story and the last one is about a girl living alone in the woods. 🙂 I do like YouTube, though lately they use too many commercials, there’s no nice flow to a playlist anymore. 🙂


  2. Hope the SAD keeps its distance this winter and that you have all the energy you need for studies and writing. PS wanted to say my writing sometimes suffers when I’m busy taking care of my grandchildren. I’d like to think it’s easier for younger people, but sounds like you are just balancing between commitments to yourself and others. Cherish each day and celebrate your achievements!


    1. Thank you, Beth! Don’t get me wrong I love my gran, but she needs a lot of care, is currently alone in her house and doesn’t watch TV or listen to the radio or read, so whenever someone comes by she talks and won’t let them leave. I was meant to have lunch with her after I finished work, then go home to study, then return for dinner and help her get ready for bed, lock the doors etc. but I didn’t get to leave. I’ve recently started an MA degree by distance learning, so I’m still trying to settle into a routine and find time to study. with a deadline looming, I really could have used those 7 hours.


  3. It’s odd to me that I’ve never heard of SAD before. I heard of it once in a group and then again here on your blog. Some part of me wonders if I have something of that nature, but it’s hard to tell given that I have so many health problems that have some type of exhaustion/fatigue factor which makes it hard to focus. I hope that your SAD doesn’t act up too much for you so that you’re able to do the things you want to do. Not having energy is just. . . the worst.

    Now, tell me about this writing process Blog Hop? What is it? Also what is ROW80? I’m interested in both of these things as my blog has been a little. . . slow lately. I have some other stuff to set in motion to get it active more, but I have to get a moment of focus and energy for that first.


    1. I’ve always called it winter depression until I was told that it’s seasonal affective disorder. I’ve been battling it for years, but only found out in 2012 what the most common SAD symptoms are and what I can do to fight them properly. I saw the discussion the other day on the NaNoWriMo FB group.

      The writing process blog hop is the one you introduced me in, I just used my other blog Fernweh & Wanderlust. It had 4 questions about our writing process in it, so I’ve always called it “Writing process Blog Hop” in my head. I’ve been looking for others who’d want to get featured since August, but only ever found one, so I figured now that I have a proper writing blog and I’m gaining an audience of writers, I should probably try again.

      ROW80 stands for A Round of Words in 80 Days. Basically, you set yourself any targets you like to accomplish in the next 80 days. It just has to be measurable. For example: “Write 1.000 words per day” or “edit 2 chapters per week”. The current round started on October 6, but you can still join. Just post your goals for the 80 Days on your blog and then link to the ROW80 Linky Tool (the blog hop link above). We update our blogs Wednesdays and Sundays with progress reports and anything else we’d like to share (a lot of people post snippets /WIPpets) and link to the Linky Tool. Then we try and visit a few fellow participants and like/comment. It’s my first round and it’s great to meet new writer friends, read what they are working on and resources they found etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a rough time of year for so many people. All the best to you!
    Kudos for limiting your time on the Net! I try, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to crack down as hard as you have. Here’s to productivity!
    Hopefully this week is shaping up to be uber productive.


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