"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."
This round has been all about traveling, accepting the fact that I have more limitations when I travel, and making adjustments accordingly.
The thing is, when I travel, everything takes longer. Take grocery shopping as a small example: In Minneapolis in May, it took time to figure out where the grocery store in my new neighborhood was, time to figure out how to get there, time to figure out the layout of said grocery store, and then time to figure out what products to buy in lieu of the products I would normally buy at home. Multiply this by all the little tasks one does in a week, and you can see that normal productivity is impacted.
And then if you're in a foreign country - I'm in Madrid, Spain as I write this - you have to take into account the culture and language barriers. I'm fluent in Spanish and have spent quite a bit of time in Madrid before, but still I don't understand everything that is said, and I am always questioning whether the thing I just said was correct. (Case in point: my host/flatmate was grumpy and instead of asking her whether there was anything I could do for her to make her feel better, I mistakenly asked if there was anything I could do to her to make her feel better. Way to creep out the flatmate, Sione.) Point being that it takes a lot more energy to have interactions in one's non-native language and in a country where all the things are different from one's home country.
Next month I'm going to Paris, where I imagine things will be worse* for me since my French is nowhere near as good as my Spanish and I've only ever spent a weekend at a time in Paris. Then, in August, things will get worse* still because I'll be in Vienna: a place I've never been to in my life, and I don't speak German. Yet. I'm going there to learn it. Which adds to it, because then I'll be spending 12 hours a week in language classes. 12 fewer hours per week available for working on my writing-related goals.
(*When I say "worse" here I'm only referring to my ability to be productive. Obviously I'm excited and grateful for the chance to have these adventures this summer, otherwise I wouldn't do them.)
|View from my home office in Madrid|
So what I've had to accept is that I can no longer count on getting 8-9 hours of work done per day. I just don't have the time or energy for it. In Minneapolis I was able to consistently get 6-7 hours of work done a day. Here in Madrid? Uf. It's looking more like 4 hours/day so far. But maybe that's just because I'm still settling in? (she says hopefully.)
To sum up what I've learned and accomplished during this round of ROW80:
- I finished writing the pseudonym's WIP1. Yay!
- I read some inspiring writing, including the collection of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July.
- I participated in the ROW80 community by commenting on others' posts while I was still in Oregon and stable (i.e. April).
- I learned this stuff about my revision process.
- I learned that I can't travel the world (or even the United States) and expect to get as much done as I can when I'm in a stable place for an extended period of time, so I either have to get really good at prioritizing and letting the less important stuff go, or I have to stay home. The alternative is insanity.
This is a blog hop! Click here to see other ROW80 participants' final Round 2 check-ins.