ROW80 – 1/22 – Steady as She Goes and Streamlining Blogs

I hope all of you ROWers are doing well and making progress on your goals!ROW80

My goals:

  • Continue with my 13-month Health Challenge. Read about that Here.  My health goal is to walk 30 minutes, 4 days a week.  In the Treadmill challenge  with Gene Lempp we had set a goal of 32 walks in 60 days. We are on Day 53 and I have completed 26 walks. Just 6 more before the end of the month to meet my goal. Oy! But I am feeling stronger and the walks are getting easier. Walking everyday  is really powering me up!

Come join me and my friends at #2012healthchallenge in getting fit and healthier this year! Tell me in your comment what you need to work on. Any small change in movement or eating is a step in the right direction. Put several steps together and you make a big difference in how you look and feel. We have a new Facebook page to meet at and talk about our own personal challenges. Please join us there!

  •  Write on my projects – 4-5 days per week for a weekly total of 2,500 words.  I hit closer to the mark this week writing a total of 2,000 words on my short stories. I hope to have the 1st drafts on some of them done by the end of the month, then I’ll self-edit and get them to beta readers, of which I think I will have 4. Then on to a professional editor or two. Publishing should take place end of March or early April. 
  • Streamline my social media and support efforts so that I visit all my blogger friends and ROW80 friends over the course of each week. Tweeting, also, for my friends to help promote their work. I did even more streamlining this week. I was invited to join Triberr with my Wana Sistas. (I hope accepting this invitation doesn’t preclude me from joining another tribe.) It’s a tricky thing to make sure everything is posting correctly. Still getting to know how it all works. Jenny Hansen is writing a series of articles on using and enjoying Triberr that are really helping us novices. Check out Triberr Part 1 and Triberr Part 2. So, my blog reading, commenting and socially promoting are on track. I just need to find time now for tweeting conversationally. 

If you haven’t tried a writing challenge before, ROW80 is not intimidating or full of pressure. It’s the challenge that knows you have a life. Set reasonable goals and work at meeting them each week. So many ROW80 veterans will tell you that they’ve learned a lot about themselves and the best methods they’ve found to get the job done. 

Please check out ROW80 for yourself! Creator, Kait Nolan, offers a flexible, supportive atmosphere for meeting your writing goals, as well as other life goals. There are so many awesome people involved and they make it so much fun! Meet the Sponsors, too. They are the best cheerleaders you could ever hope to have. Don’t forget to go visit some new-to-you blogs and cheer them on in their journey.


image source: Google

Now, a lot of you asked me to outline how I streamlined my blogs. I gave away a few tips on my Life List Club post on Jess Witkins’ blog and you can read that here. Here goes:

1. Look at your list of blogs that you read and comment on or simply glean information from. Do you have a lot coming into your email inbox AND Google reader or another depository?

I have some in my Google Reader simply because I wasn’t able to subscribe to certain blogs with my email, which I prefer. I hate going to more than one location to take care of a particular task. Consequently, I never get over to the Google reader to read those blogs. So, I deleted them. Yes. All of them. No more guilt or stress!

I have also unsubscribed to many, many blogs that are delivered to my inbox. Why, you ask? Some I just never could get to and others turned out to be not-so-very-interesting or helpful. I have a limited time to spend on reading, commenting and promoting other blogs so I had to make a choice. Which blogs do I love and which blogs can I always learn from? The answer to that question was my vehicle for deleting all the rest. No more backlog of blogs to read that number into the hundreds!

2. List the blogs you’ve kept and tweet them and facebook them as you read them. If you belong to Triberr, you can easily promote all your tribe members in just a few minutes, even without reading the blogs, if you’re super short on time. But, bear in mind, that’s one more place to go to read, comment and promote.

If you have a WordPress hosted blog, you can adjust how often you receive the other WP blogs in your email inbox. Just go to your Dashboard and click on ‘Blogs I Follow’. When you open that tab, all of the WP blogs you read are listed there. Look at the column entitled ‘Delivery Frequency’ You can choose to receive the posts immediately upon posting, daily (1:00am-3:00am) or on Mondays (1:00am-3:00am). There are only a few that I need immediately. The rest can be delivered to me on Mondays and I’ve designated that day to go back over the previous week’s blog and read, comment and promote to my heart’s content. No more worries about who I’ve promoted and read and how many more are going load up my email and make me feel pressured. YAY!

AND, now WordPress just improved their “Blogs I Follow’ tab so you can import even your non-Wordpress blogs to this list. So, you can really see EVERY blog you follow in one list. I reblogged the Wordpress post on this topic yesterday and you can read all the details here.

3. Definitely set up TweetDeck or HootSuite to schedule conversational tweets and additional promotion of your own blog. Once you schedule it, you can close your mind to it. DONE!

These tactics constitute a strategy that keeps me from getting scatterbrained, stressed and feeling guilty. I hate getting too busy to promote someone who promotes me regularly. This leaves me more time to do the conversational tweets and reaching out to groups other than writers.

One last tidbit – Schedule your daily time putting your WIP FIRST, above all! Second place goes to your own blog, the foundation of your platform, and Social Media comes in 3rd. If you have a core group of blogging friends, you should be able to count on their loyalty when you’re having a rough week or a few rough weeks. It happens. I’ve been there and am quick to apologize for my absence and try not to let it happen often.

Good luck setting up a schedule and be kind to yourself first.

Next week I’ll bring you my tips for getting your blog writing done better and faster!

Have a great week on the ROW! Please share with me how your week went and what you have to look forward to. Do you have other tips for balancing all your tasks to share?


33 thoughts on “ROW80 – 1/22 – Steady as She Goes and Streamlining Blogs

  1. Pingback: Sunday Summary & #ROW80 « Raelyn Barclay

  2. Fantastic week Marcia! You are rocking your goals. And thank you so much for posting your strategy 🙂 definitely feeling the need to cull the blog list after last week. Hope you have a wonderful week.

  3. Some awesome tips there Marcia, I do need to streamline my own stuff more. I have a pretty good balance mostly but there’s always room for more improvement! have a great week 🙂

  4. During this last week I got do overwhelmed with the amount of blogs that I normally read and comment on, that I just took a break and concentrated on my WIP. You’re right – the WIP is my priority. The rest is important too but it can’t cut into my writing time.

    I need to re-work my system to get more efficient with reading and commenting on griends’ blogs. I also have to utilize Triberr to spent less time and effort on social media without sacrificing the results 🙂

    You had a great week – congrats on achieving your goals! You are a wonderful inspiration.

    • I know how that feels, Angela. Being more efficient is tough. All those blogs we subscribe to are mostly other writers. I have to wonder if subscribing to so many writers’ blogs is helping us. If all we cull as readers are writers, how will we get non-writers to buy our books? Writers help promote us, but are they promoting to non-writers? It’s a confusing mess. We don’t want to stop visiting and supporting our writer friends, but somehow we also need non-writer friends.
      Thanks for coming by.

  5. Great post, Marcia. Congrats on meeting your ROW80 goals. 🙂

    I’ve started a daily to-do list. While this is nothing new to most people, it’s something I’ve rarely used in the past, but now that I’ve using it regularly, I love it. It helps me focus on my WIP, which is the first thing I do every day. And because I’ve made this list, I’m not worrying about what I need to do while I should be focusing on writing. Duh, should have tried this years ago, LOL!

    And I love Hootsuite. 🙂

    • Simple as that sounds, it’s a really great idea! Usually we go to the computer knowing, generally, what needs to be done…write, blog, comment, socialize, etc. But putting it into a list with writing at the top should make it more of a goal for the day that you feel you must try to stick to. Glad it’s working for you!

  6. Wow Marcia, great post. I have been wanting for so long to get my butt over here and meet you! So today I have taken the time to visit everyone in the hashtag ROW80 to introduce myself and widen out of my tiny circle of blog friends. There are just so many wonderful bogs out there and I keep hearing about yours. Yes I too have been following Jenny Hansen Triberr blogs and hope to join soon. My life the last two weeks has gotten in the way with my husband in the hospital, etc. But tomorrow is a brand new week and I’m excited to get back to work! So nice to meet you Marcia! 🙂

    • Welcome, Karen! Nice to meet you, too! i see your hilarious comments on Jenny’s site all the time. I hope you’ll make this a regular stop on your blog travels. As I said to Nicole, below, I can start a tribe when folks are ready, so let me know if you’d like to join mine.
      Sorry you’ve had a rough time, hopefully things will be looking up for you now!

  7. Great job, Marcia. I need to get my butt in gear and join the health challenge. I have 10 lbs I need to lose before summer, and I would love to get fit. Soon, I promise.

    Have another great week, and thanks for taking the time to put together this great info:)

  8. I can totally relate to the social media madness with all the blogs to follow and make sure you stay on top of everything. I’ve moved all my blog subscriptions over to Google Reader so that I can read both WordPress and Blogger blogs in the same place. I was checking both WordPress and Google reader and it was too much and also it was hard to keep track. Here’s to getting social media organized! I think I’ll also be checking out the Triberr sometime soon.

    • Having everything one place is so much easier. I’m getting used to Triberr. If you want to join I could start a tribe. I’m in the Wana711 and there will be on for the Life List Club, but I can start another one, too. Let me know when you’re ready.

  9. What a FANTASTIC week Marcia. You are rocking out your health and fitness goals and are a writing machine. I love your uber list of tips and tricks to streamlining. I can definitely make good use of those. I like how you encouraged people to prioritize. I also follow a lot of blog and understand that I can’t get around to always see everyone each day – let alone each week. But I do my best and I think that’s good enough! 🙂 I am really looking forward to your post on writing blog posts faster.

  10. Wow, Diana! That’s an amazing list! I’m so impressed!I will be supporting you all the way! I was trying to choose one that I really loved, but I love them all! Cutting out sugar and white flour 5 days a week, is really good. I don’t eat anything with white flour, except for pasta in restaurants. I seldom choose the pasta since it’s white, but that’s my only exception and it has been that way for several years. Sugar is a different story, though it’s only in my yogurt and my dark chocolate both of which are consumed daily.
    You go, Diana!

  11. Marcia you have this down to a fine art. I’ve had my head stuck in my WIP the last couple of weeks and feel like I’ve been really neglectful of everything else. I had one amazing day when I wrote over 3000 words (couldn’t believe it!) and since then it’s been a struggle. Gotta try and find a balance! Your info will be a big help. Thanks!

    • I’m glad it helps, Patricia. Balance is tough and something we have to figure out on our own based on our obligations. But sometimes knowing what others do can spark an idea for yourself. Good luck with it and WOW on 3000 words that day! It WILL happen again!

  12. First, great job on your goals. We have this treadmill thing down, I think 🙂

    On blogs: Most of mine come to email, but like you I had to put some in Google Reader due to lack of options. I keep a lot of active tabs in my browser (10-30) and have the two next to each other for ease of use. Being that I subscribe to around 60-80 blogs, I obviously do not read everything that comes in. My policy is similar to Elizabeth S. Craigs (can be found on her site) and I concentrate on what has value to me but tweet the majority, because it may have value to someone else. I’ll probably do a post on this at some point in the future. Excellent post, Marcia.

    Have a great week 🙂

    • Thanks, Gene. That’s a lot of blogs! I had nearly that many but felt so stressed when they’d pile up in my email. I didn’t even have time to tweet them. But I may have more to learn in the streamlining department.
      Since Jess Witkins now calls me The Incredible Marcia Richards, I think I’ll expand on that to:
      The Incredible Marcia Richards, Mistress of the Treadmill! I think you deserve a powerful name too. How about: The Mighty Gene Lempp, Master of His World!

  13. I love this! It took me a long time to let go of the guilt I felt if I couldn’t get to every single blog that came to my inbox. I’m subscribed to 83 blogs ~ that’s a bit much for one day. Fabio Bueno had a great post on setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of how many blogs I comment on and RT. It took me a couple of hours one day to get it all set up, but since then I feel way less stress and guilt. When I feel like I’m not supporting my blogging friends enough, I check out the spreadsheet and usually I’ve commented and RT’d 20-25 blogs that day. I’m pretty sure that’s good enough.

    I’ve also instituted your one last tidbit, sort of. I get my household stuff and blogging stuff done first, that way I can focus on my WIP and not fret that I’m missing something. BUT, I made the hours between 10 & 2 sacred for my writing. I don’t answer the phone, go online to play, nothing outside of editing (which is where I’m at in my WIP). If I feel like I’ve gotten enough done on the WIP, then I’ll relax for a bit and play. Which usually means read more blogs.

    As for health ~ I’m keeping a journal of the food I eat each day and my husband and I are getting back into our walking routine (which we ditched over the holidays). I’m also looking for a good yoga studio so I can add that to my two days a week of weight training.

    When you do the treadmill, try to incorporate some high intensity interval training. You’ll see great results from it!

    • Wow! Tameri, You’re working so smartly! 83 blogs is a lot. If you chose to, you could cut that number down, but giving attention to 20-25 a day is a reasonable way to do it. Great job on the exercise, too! Thanks for the tip on the interval training. I’m working up to that…been out of shape for too long. I’m doing this at home so i have limited resources, but I do have weights, resistance bands and DVDs besides the treadmill, so i do a combo of exercises. I’ll be adding an interval program to my treadmill walking in a couple of weeks. Keep up the great work!

  14. Marcia I am working on riding my bike in the basement. I have a device that turns my road bike stationary. Increasing to 10 minutes a day (back issues you know) and then hopefully to twice a day. I ride after I check the seedlings I am growing. I am doing as much writing as I can at the moment. I saw the new WordPress and immediately added all my blogs there…Tweeting…not yet…hopefully when I retire I will be doing all I wish…take care friend!!

      • Thanks for all the great info. I know I need to schedule my days and stick to it. I also need to get more savvy when it comes to computer technology–I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do things.
        On my list so far:(1) Right now I’m editing so I’m not sure how this will effect my word count but I think 12,000 words a month is reasonable goal. (2) I will move my body–a combination of Wii-Fit, classes and equipment at the gym for 45 min. a day, five days a week. (3) White sugar & flour will not pass these lips Mon-Fri. and processed food won’t even be allowed in my house. (4) I’ll strictly maintain my regiment of supplements–sometimes I forget and since I’m dealing with some auto-immune challenges it’s really important. (5) I’ll recycle plastics, metals and paper whenever possible. (6) I won’t buy new when resale is available–shoes, bathing suits & undies excluded. (7) I’ll schedule errands to avoid needless driving. (8) Once a week I’ll celebrate my gratitude and affirmations.

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