Round of Editing – 80 Days

After meeting my goals in the first round, I’m back for Round 2 of ROW80! As before, each Round has 3 challenges- measure, chunk, and blog. For Round 2, my personal challenges are:*

1. Measure- finish editing my novel draft (from last year’s NaNoWriMo).

2. Chunk- At least an hour of editing per day, except on Saturdays.

3. Blog- check-in with ROW80 regularly.

*My ROW80 Round 2 ends on June 15. I will be vacationing from June 16 – July 5, and will not be editing, checking-in, or otherwise online during that time.

But wait, there’s more!

I’m also listing other goals and including them in my ROW80 progress:*

1. I’d like to balance my fiction reading with my non-fiction reading. Lately I’m reading *a lot* of non-fiction. I still want to do that, but I also want to fit more fiction in there somewhere. At least five 15-minute fiction-reading sessions per week.

2. My computer files and paper files are a mess. Plus I have boxes of books, photos, notes, mementos, notes, poetry, who-knows-whats all mixed together. No more. Progress on organizing my files or boxes every week. What constitutes “progress” will be up to me as I go.

3. Ramp up my French lessons. At least five French lessons per week.

4. Do “The Artist’s Way Workbook” by Julia Cameron. I’ve had this workbook for a while, and it’s been a good dust-collector, but now I want to use it as a workbook. Glancing through, it looks like there’s 12 weeks of exercises, with each week having 4 – 10 tasks, plus spaces for weekly check-ins throughout. One week’s worth of exercises per week, (including check-ins) according to the workbook, for 12 weeks, except for the exercise about getting up 1/2 hour early.

*Vacation time is exempt.

So now that I’ve mixed all my words together, baked them, and even frosted them, is my word cake ready to serve? No way! Blow it up first! (I’m a horror writer. There’s nothing like the horror of a blown-up birthday cake.)

OK I’m off to blow-up . . er, edit my novel.


4-6  So far so good . . editing over an hour every day- currently tidying my draft.

  1. Diving back into Stephen King’s complete & uncut “The Stand” every night. Hopefully it will give me nightmares- I’ll use them in my writing.
  2. Recovered and sorting through important “hidden file” emails.
  3. French- check.
  4. Doing the Morning Pages in the workbook every day, first-ish thing. 

4-10  Edited over an hour daily, M – F.

  1. Exceeded my fiction reading goals.
  2. I made some (very little) progress with my files. *Technically* met the goal.
  3. French- check.
  4. Still have Morning Pages to do this morning / afternoon. I’m kinda not doing them the first thing in the morning- just don’t feel like it. I usually do them by the afternoon, and I do them everyday. Also need to do 3 additional workbook exercises today to meet my goal for this week (M- M). Will do. 

4-12  An hour of editing every scheduled day. I’ve been doing it in the wee hours, and toward the end, I start to fall asleep. I need to figure out how to manage my time more effectively.

  1. Fiction reading completed so far this week. Now I need to catch-up on my non-fiction. There’s a mountain of it.
  2. Again, *technically* met the file-organizing goal.
  3. French- check.
  4. On schedule with the workbook. So far there’s a lot of exercises in which you flip back and review previous exercises- I like that. It’s good to review. There’s also a lot of repitition of affirmations. I’m skipping the overly repititious repititions, as I find repititious repititions repititiously irritating. See what I mean? 

4-17  So far so good with editing at least an hour 6 days per week. I was struggling with the story flow until I decided to go with an unusual format. A futuristic stream-of-consciousness in a futuristic book calls for a futuristic format.

  1. On schedule with my fiction reading. I doubled and tripled the reading on some days to keep up.
  2. My computer desk and my coffee table aren’t (as) cluttered.  S  l  o  w  progress.
  3. French- check, though the pronunciations are giving me the smack-down.
  4. On schedule with the workbook for the most part. A couple of the exercises I started, but decided to finish later, because they call for traveling and borrowing or buying a sewing machine and buying some specialized tartan. Yes- kilts!

4-20  On target with editing. Slow but steady, by the hour.

  1. Way ahead on my fiction reading. I love to read fiction.
  2. Cleared some more computer files.  S  l  o  w  on this one,  as usual. I guess I hate being organized I’m pre-disposed to disorganization.
  3. Some easy French lessons lately. Confidence is boosted. I’ll enjoy it while I can.
  4. Right on schedule with the workbook. I abbreviated a few of the repetitious exercises. In some places the workbook goes a bit over the top with cultish chanting IMO. I do a step above what is reasonable to me and move on. 

4- 24  Almost completed finding the weak areas in my WIP. This week I will strengthen my WIP and print it to facilitate scene shuffling.

  1. Way ahead on fiction reading- mostly responses to Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenges, and Stephen King’s “The Stand.”
  2. Managed to get a little bit more organizing done thing week than last week. The key word is “little.”
  3. French- check. Though now I’m gettting the double smack-down on spelling and audio word recognition. The last lesson was brutal.
  4. Pretty much caught up on this week’s workbook exercises. One of the exercises was to list dead people you wish you had met, and dead people you’d like to hang out with, (assuming they’d somehow not be dead) and why. Nobody came to mind. So I listed “good traits in friends” instead.

4-27  Decided I need to isolate my scenes so I can easily shuffle them. They were written out of order. Now I’m going to put them in order. In the meantime, still working on strengthening the weak areas. In other news, on Monday I had a bad reaction to my monthly allergy shots. I still managed to keep up with my editing, but I’m one or two days behind everything else. Hope to catch up by the end of the week.

  1. A small amount of fiction reading so far this week. Need to catch up.
  2. Converted a bunch of files which were previously lost in a computer crash. Still have a bunch more to go.
  3. A day behind in French. Also repeating a lesson until I get it right (normal for me).
  4. A day behind in my workbook exercises. Need to catch up.   

5-1  Going strong with my editing. I’ve identified the weak areas and so far re-written a few scenes stronger. Plowing ahead.

  1. On schedule with my fiction reading.
  2. Still struggling with organization, but making *some* progress.
  3. Caught up in French. Trying to hammer in a few new phrases.
  4. Did most of this week’s workbook exercises (a couple didn’t apply to me, so I skipped them). This is where I’m still behind from my allergy shots reaction last Monday. I need to do 2 “artist date” activities- one modest one and one day-long one. I expect to catch up on Monday.

5-4  On track with my editing. Re-wrote and embellished a few more scenes, slow but steady.

  1. Ahead on my fiction reading. Easy to do once I open the book.
  2. Got a nice chunk of computer files converted. Another slow but steady progression.
  3. I’m actually remembering how to spell most of my French vocabulary words. Pounding out the lessons.
  4. I managed to catch up on my workbook exercises, though this week I have to find pictures in magazines of things I like- lots of pictures. Luckily, I have stacks of magazines I haven’t organized donated yet. Some of the religious wording in the exercises are ponderous, (my only criticism of the workbook so far) as I’m not a religious person. But I just work around it.

5-8  Just about ready to print my WIP. I’ll be scene-shuffling this week. I need to see it all in front of me on page instead of scrollling up and down and up . .

  1. Fiction reading going great. Reading a lot of flash fiction lately.
  2. Got even more computer files converted. Still haven’t tackled my paper files yet, though.
  3. Excelling in French vocabulary. Still need to work on sentence structure.
  4. A bit behind on my workbook exercises, and I also need to pick out the magazine pictures- so far I flipped through a couple magazines but didn’t find anything. I’m picky. But the “morning pages” (“morning” in name only) are going faster for me. Now I only take an hour to write 3 pages- filling the entire page- longhand. The trick is no interruptions and no distractions.

5-11 I discovered a new (to me) method of looking at relationships between characters using the 5 senses. I’m quite pleased with myself, and this method will be a future blog post. Tonight I am cutting and pasting my WIP (literally). I need to shuffle scenes by hand on the floor to get the continuity correct.

  1. Chugging along with my fiction reading. Lots of great flash fiction on the web!
  2. As for my organizing . . I put all my “look at later” book notes in one place (except for the ones buried in a box in the closet). But that took  less than a minute.  So I had to think of something else to “organize.” Finally, I recycled some magazines and processed a stack of mail that had been piling up. This weekend I’ll start processing my consolidated “look at later” book notes. Yikes.
  3. French is on the upswing again. Sentences are flowing (somewhat) easier now.
  4. I completed last week’s picture-finding exercises in the workbook as best I could, and decided to match 1 picture to each exercise. Outdoor scenes. They represent harmonious environments, nature, beauty, vitality, excitement- all the good, important stuff. Now I just need to catch up on this week. Again.

5-15  I printed my WIP. I started reading it. Right off the bat I’m finding things I didn’t see looking at it on the computer screen. Lots of things. Argh. I thought I would be mostly just shuffling scenes, but I still have a lot of line editing to do. So I’m still experiencing a steep learning curve. Learning is good, I can work with this.

  1. Reading flash fiction and loving it!
  2. Wow! I sorted through the whole box of stuff I said I was going to sort through- woo-hoo! So the contents are organized. Next step- processing.
  3. Repeating my latest French lessons- speaking French sentences is proving to be more difficult than simply speaking French words. I am diligent, though.
  4. Most of the workbook exercises were a breeze this week, though I still have a bit of catching up to do. One exercise necessitates collecting leaves outside, and it’s been raining all week, so I’m going to do that one when it’s drier. I’m combining a couple other exercises as I type- baking focaccia and having a drinky-poo (artist date).

5-18  Chugging along with my editing. I’m in the last few chapters of my draft- either that or I forgot to number a bunch of chapters at the end. (I think it’s the later.) I’m wondering how I’m going to get this done by June 15. Argh.

  1. Breezing through my fiction reading.
  2. Went back to converting files. I’d say I’ve converted about half of them so far.
  3. French is giving me the double smack-down. I’m having trouble with pronunciations and phrases this time. But I keep getting back up and taking my lessons.
  4. Still rainy here and I still haven’t done the leaf-collecting exercise from last week. Now I’m supposed to be half-way through this week and I’m not quite there. And this week’s exercises are long and involved. Argh indeed.

5-22  Now that I’ve made my corrections to my printed WIP, I’m making the corrections to my computer file WIP. I’m still amazed at what I see on the printed page that I don’t see on the computer screen.

  1. I’m reading “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert A. Heinlein. Amazing stuff, and I’m in awe that it was written in 1965. It’s futuristic in every sense of the word, even today. The style was a bit jarring at first, but I’ve adapted. It’s making me re-think my own futuristic WIP.
  2. Converted another hunka-chunka burnin’ computer files. I see the light at the end of the tunnel on these.
  3. I faithfully continue to flagellate myself with my French lessons. Some phrases are starting to sink in.
  4. Still have a few workbook exercises from last week that I need to complete. Some of these exercises aren’t easy to do in rainy weather. And It’s supposed to rain all this week too. So I’ll do what I can.

5-25  An hour of editing every Sunday through Friday. I’m actually enjoying the editing and correcting process.

  1. Still reading Heinlein’s Moon novel. Also reading “Transition” by Chaz Bono, which isn’t fiction, but I mention it anyway because it’s so interesting I kind of lost track of how much time I’ve spent reading Moon. But I’m pretty sure I met my goal for fiction these past few days.
  2. Hubby needed to do some programming on the desktop computer during my “prime file converting time” these past few days, but I still managed to converted a small amount. Technically on track.
  3. I’m reviewing French vocabulary, which is quite a bit easier than struggling with sentence structure.
  4. Finished a big workbook exercise for this week. At the same time, I’m still working on catching up a bit from last week.

5-29  I’m nearing the end of my computer file corrections to my WIP. I’m wondering how many more times I’ll have to print it.

  1. Finished “Transition,” by Chaz Bono (non-fiction) and now I’m back to reading Heinlein’s Moon novel. On track.
  2. I got another chunk of computer files converted. By the time I check in again, the rest will be converted!
  3. Pounding away on my French lessons, and trying to work through a plateau. I’m wondering when the cursive French lessons will come. I might have to do some outside research for a few choice French words.
  4. Oddly enough, I got a little ahead of schedule on my workbook exercises, (not counting the delayed exercises) and so I took a few days off from doing these to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.

6-1  Finished the edits to my paper WIP. Now onto the scene-shuffling. As I lack the chronology gene, I predict this will be a teeth-gnashing steep learning experience.

  1. Chugging along with Heinlein’s Moon. CHUG-A-CHUG-A-CHUG-A
  2. Chunked out another chunk o’ computer files. By the next check-in, they will be all chunked out.
  3. Still trying to pound French phrases into my brain. They seem to be half in and half out at this point. Makes my head look funny. May have to wear a beret, even though it’s now summer.
  4. Trying to catch up on my collaging workbook exercises. Finding acceptable pictures in magazines is more time-consuming than I thought. 1 hour = 2 pictures. Too picky?

6-5  I started to read my WIP aloud for the first time. Holy crap. Will this editing process ever end? It’s black marker time. Again. But I figure as long as I edit 6 days per week as my goals state, I will have technically met that goal by June 15. I’ll have an “edited” WIP. Not “completely edited,” but edited nonetheless.

  1. A-OK on the fiction reading. The Moon book isn’t an easy read IMO, but it’s a very worthwhile read.
  2. Computer files- DONE! WHOO-HOO!
  3. French? Yes, I use my French Press to make coffee. It’s fun. French lessons? Yep, they’re still French-frying my brain. Yum, coffee-flavored french fries . .
  4. As far as those damned enlightening workbook exercises go, since the last check-in I’ve managed to find some more magazine pictures for my collages, and I spent most of the day last Saturday being a socialite. (This was for an “alternate life” workbook exercise, and I dressed up in floaty skirt set and mincing heels and went to a fancy-shmancy bridal shower. I was even invited. It was a lot of fun, though by the end of the day, my feet were killing me. How the heck do those socialites do it?)

6-8 Still steadily editing aloud. Still rolling my eyes at what I find. But as long as I’m making progress, I’m happy.

  1. I dove back into reading flash fiction online. I love the variety of writing styles, and I bet a few of these authors will become successful career authors.
  2. Dug out my papers in my file drawer. Scary. Time to sort.
  3. Ditched the beret idea. Too hot. And it’s supposed to be even hotter on Thursday. In the meantime, I’m still French-pressing my brain. I’m stubborn that way.
  4. Slow going on the workbook exercises. These last few weeks of the workbook are difficult. Maybe I’m just ready for the exercises to be over. Either way, at the end of the workbook, there’s another contract you’re expected to sign, promising to do “Morning Pages” for another 90 days. I’m not going to think about that too much, I’m just going keep scrawling incoherently filling pages with soul-stretching insights writing 3 pages longhand daily until it’s over. One day at a time.

6-12  I might be a day off on my editing, but none of my 3 calendars (1 calendar isn’t big enough) say I am. Just a weird feeling. But I’m not going to fret it, because I’ll simply do an extra hour of editing before I blast off on my vacation after my last ROW80 check-in this round. Still on the aloud edits. Still slashing away with my big black marker.

  1. Devouring online flash fiction and smacking my lips. YUM
  2. Finally organized my paper files. Funny how quick and easy it is once you just sit down and do it.
  3. If I knew any French curse words I’d type those here. But I don’t (yet) so I’ll just say I’m back to repeating a single lesson over and over . . and over again until I get it 100% right.
  4. According to the last hocus-pocus workbook exercise I did, I guess I’m supposed to be a drug addict, or have drug addict tendencies. I drew the “drugs” slip 3 times out of 7 draws. I’ll go with the “drug addict tendencies” and admit, at times, I do tend to go heavy on the Advil when my Cousin Flo visits. She parties way too hard for me.

6-15  The end of my ROW80 Round 2.

Measure goal- OK how about this- I finished a KIND of editing, wherein “a KIND of” is a modifier, and “editing” is the overall goal. What kind of editing did I finish? The kind where I go through and and fix typos and put scenes in order. And when is editing ever done, really? I guess when you send your manuscript to an agent. And I’ve got to find an agent before I send my script!

Chunk goal- 1 hour per day, six days per week- check! And I even threw in an extra hour of editing, just to be on the safe side.

Blog goal- Checked in with this post at every check-in!

But wait, there’s more!

  1. Fiction reading- met the goal.
  2. French lessons- met the goal.
  3. Organizing- met the goal.
  4. Workbook exercises- Though I’m not done with the workbook yet, I did do 1 week’s worth (more or less) or exercises per week. There are parts of a few exercises I need to finish, and I will finish them, along with the rest of the workbook, including the extra 90 days of Morning Pages, without skipping a day. The workbook exercises are about nurturing your artist, not stressing out your artist, so I’m not going to fret about needing to wrap up loose ends. I’ll wrap up when it’s convenient, and at the same time recognize that finishing the workbook is a priority.

    As of today I am on vacation until July 6. See you in Round 3. Happy summer!


Leave a comment


  1. Congratulations on making the first round! And good luck with the next. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate.
    I’ve never read Julia Cameron’s book, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

    • Thank you! 🙂 For this round, I wrote, re-wrote, and revised my goals many times before posting them. I finally decided I’d do better in most of my goals if I measured them week-by-week, except for the French lessons. I’ll try to space those out day-by-day, but I’ll double up if I skip a day. I’ll correctly pronounce écrit yet!

      • Thumbs up! It sounds really organised. Good luck with French, too. (I seem to have forgotten most of the French that I learnt in high school.)

  2. The Artists Way is one I got a LOT out of – I’m curious to see if you post any feedback on it. I think you’ll have smashing results regardless, and can’t wait to hear about it 🙂

    • So far the morning pages are fun. I get to rant without annoying anybody. lol I’ll be giving brief updates on my workbook progress in my check-ins. Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

  3. Good luck with your goals! I’ve heard so many good things about The Artist’s Way. I really need to pick it up.

    This is my first time doing ROW80 and I’m excited to make progress on my WIP. 🙂

    • Thank you, and good luck to you too! Glad you could join the challenge. 🙂 I heard a lot of good things about The Artist’s Way too, now it’s time to finally do it.

  4. That’s a long goals list. I hear you about having to cram in fiction reading time. I’ve been stressing myself out lately trying to read so fast…decided I needed to quit doing that. A fifteen minute session sounds about right.

    • At the end of the day, I take the book on top of my “to read” stack to bed with me. Then I read until I start to fall asleep. X)

  5. Wow, best of luck on all those goals. I need to clean up my hard drive as well. I might have to look at The Artists Way best of luck for the rest of the week.

    • Thank you! I’ve read “The Artist’s Way” is “transformative” for artists in any medium. 🙂

  6. That seems a lot of work. Do your best Stewart. Oh are you learning French? That’s neat.

    • I will do my best. 🙂

      At this point I’m more “attempting to learn” than “learning.” Correct pronunciation is my bane. Even in English. lol

  7. Love all your writing goals and other related goals. I wish I could commit to organizing all the paper and files I’ve been saving, but the mountain is growing so high…
    Funny, I’ve reread The Stand a number of times but still haven’t read the uncut version. Another book to add to the wishlist!

    • I hear you on “the mountain is growing so high…” lol Who knows what I have in those boxes. It will be a treasure hunt. I might even find gold. XD

      Yeah, the “The Stand” uncut is *quite* lengthy. I picked it up for a dollar at my library’s shelf sale. It’s a good bedtime book (for me). 🙂

  8. Congrats on meeting your goals in Round One. I’m sure you’ll do the same in this round. You seem to be one of the hardest working of all of us. :0) Man, do you have a lot of goals!

    • Wow, thanks! 🙂 Though I don’t have any kids to take care of (just 2 bratty cats) and I work from home . . so I’m sure there are many who work “harder” than I do . . but yeah, I’m ramping up my load for this round.

  9. I think the hardest part of your goals is the sorting and tyding files – loathsome job!! best of luck you seem to be doing well

    • Yeah, as a life-long “disorganized” person, getting control of my stuff will be a huge deal. Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

  10. Good stuff so far! I’m finding it hard to get going so I’m going to have to keep looking at your progress for inspiration. 🙂

    • Wow I better set a good example then! Thank you and if I can do it . . you can do it, so let’s do it! 🙂

  11. Ambitious goals! The great thing about this challenge is the flexibility…hang in there!

    • Thanks! I think next week I’ll make more progress- hubby will be away on business, and I’ll have 5 days all to myself to work on the computer. 🙂

  12. You have a great way of determining and measuring your goals. Looks like this round will be just as productive for you as the last!

  13. Sounds like you’re well on your way to meeting your goals this week. Good luck, and good-bye cake (who needs the calories, anyway?).

    • Thanks! 🙂 I’ve always thought blowing up a cake would be more fun than eating it.

      And I’m happy to report I did indeed meet my goals. (Barely. lol)

  14. Editing is always the hardest part for me! I try not to spend more than an hour at a time because it gets to be too discouraging otherwise (at least for me). Good luck with your goals!

    • Thanks! 🙂 Yep, an hour of editing in one sitting is about my limit too. And the more I look, the more I find. Urgh.

  15. Look at disciplined little CM go! Awesome.

    • lol Thanks! I appear in a sentence with the word “disciplined” without a negative modifier. Awesome, indeed. 😉

  16. Wow! You’re going totally gang-busters! Sounds like you’ve off to a great ROW80 start! I love that your are studying French. I need to learn a new language, but every time I try, I end up confusing it with Spanish…

    • Thanks! 🙂 I’m using RosettaStone- the combination of hearing, seeing, saying, and typing is excellent, IMO.

  17. Oh you’re editing already. Is it hard? I’m planning to edit mine when I reach chapter 5 but I’m only in chapter 3.


    • I’m editing the draft I wrote for last year’s NaNoWriMo. The hardest part (for me) about editing this draft is wondering if agents and readers will be receptive to my choice of untraditional writing style.

      The draft I wrote for ROW80 Round 1 is on the back burner for now.

      Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

  18. you sound like you are doing well there – paper files tho’ ugh

    • Thanks! 🙂 My paper “files,” right now, have no rhyme nor reason. Mostly just random papers shoved into boxes and drawers. At this point I’m still a (hopefully) recovering disorganization-aholic.

  19. I’m trying hard to break the “print out” habit, but a manuscript looks so much different when it’s physical!

    • Exactly! And since this will be my first published novel, (if all goes as planned) I especially don’t want to miss anything. 🙂

  20. I got dizzy just reading all that you’ve done on this challenge. I think I need some vitamins after all of that. Congratulations.

  21. Whew! You make me tired just reading this. Good work!

    • lol Thanks . . when I start dragging I focus on my vacation, which is a little over a month away! 🙂

  22. sounds like you’re doing very well there – impressed with your tyding/ordering of files – I hate doing that bit.

    all the best for week ahead – keep smiling

    • Thanks! 🙂 Funny thing about the paper files- the anticipation of the work is worse than the work itself. lol

  23. You’re making steady progress. Keep chipping away at it and you’ll be done in no time. On June 15th you’ll be kicking back with a cold beverage and a job well done. 😉

    • Ah, yes, that cold beverage and the satisfaction of a job well done . . it’s movitating me . . thank you for the reminder! 🙂

  24. Your persistence to your french lessons is the reason I know you’ll make the June 15th deadline. Steady and solid progress in my book.

    • Thank you for your vote of confidence! 🙂 Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment, er . . learning. I’m a glutton for learning. 😉

  25. You have so much going on and still make progress! You make my head spin. LOL. You most definitely rock!

  26. Nice work keeping pace. That’s important when editing. And, you know? I haven’t had a good nightmare in ages…

    • Thanks! 🙂

      And since you “haven’t had a good nightmare in ages,” I will write one. It goes up tomorrow.

  27. Keep scrawling!!! I SWEAR it works! Awesome, inspiring progress. Seriously 🙂

    • Thank you! 🙂 And yeah, “scrawling” is right- I have the handwriting of a chicken on speed. Too bad I don’t have the handwriting speed of a chicken on speed. I’d LOVE if my “Morning Pages” took 10 minutes instead of over an hour . .

  28. Congrats on making your goals, and have fun on vacation!! Rest up for Round 3!


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