Sunday, August 25, 2013

Miles (of Ink) to Go Before I Rest

Having a goal to work toward in life is not optional. It is SO not optional that it is a requirement of every person experiencing homelessness that goes through the program where I work. We don't tell them what their goals have to be--it could be a goal to become a rock star or to own a vineyard in France or to go grocery shopping all alone--but they have to think up a goal of some sort. It isn't my place, even as a most eager and helpful helper, to tell them whether I think their goal is achievable or not. I'm no judge, and I'm no psychic. It's my job to dig at the meat of why they set their goals, find out and remind them of how much their goals mean to them, and help uncover avenues to achieve them.

Bella the Pseudo-Intellectual Puppy keeps me on my toes.
Everyone should have some kind of goal to work toward, and they should have support to help uncover those pesky achievement-avenues. I am a writer...or a person who writes...or I have set my most beloved, juicy yearly goals around how many words I'm going to crank out and shove out my door. I'm lucky enough to have my husband and some fellow writers to kick me in the pants as needed to keep my eyes turned the right way.

Without boring you with the details (i.e. I'm too chicken to type out my goals and be held accountable by my own loud and pointy blog-words if I fail), I have managed to achieve one goal.

Okay, fine. I submitted a short story. My goal is to submit two before my (dread, fast-approaching) birthday. And I may or may not also have a goal of finishing at least one novel manuscript by the end of the year.

There. I said it. It is a true thing and it exists and now you know.

I can already hear the sound of one-third victory, like the tone in the episode of Bewitched that plays when they get a guy to do three ridiculous things to break a curse.  (1:04 in video)  One down, two to go.

I'm happy to have reached one goal, but if I'm being honest, it was a small goal, something that was simple and reachable and shouldn't have been nearly as difficult as it was. Ray Bradbury, one of my literary heroes, probably wrote two or three stories every day while waiting for his toast to pop up.

I can't blame time. I don't have a lot of extra, but what time I do have, I usually spend with a pen in hand. Who needs that much sleep, anyway?

I can't blame ideas. I have way too many of those, and I have more half-finished short stories spread out in my notebooks than there are marshmallows in Lucky Charms.

I can't blame lack of support. I have an army of writer-reader types who have been so helpful with shaping and editing the work I do crank out. Then there is Husband. They just don't come any better or more supportive. They just don't. I have the best one and you do not, so HA.

I can't blame the muses. Boo and Bella still do a mighty musing job and now I've added a third furry muse to my collection. (Of course, Boo and New Kitty still can't really be in the same room at the same time, but we're working on it.)

I guess I can just blame the pens. It has to be them. One pen or another is always there when I'm trying to write. Darn pens. Look how smug this one is, just laying there on a blank page, taunting me. That pen has been there that way for hours, and that page still doesn't have any words on it. I am never going to meet my goals at that rate! How lazy can you get?

It has to be the pen. If that isn't it, I'm out of options. If it isn't the pen, or the ink, or the paper, or the table, who or what is keeping me from reaching my goals?

It surely can't be me. I want this so much! I set the goals. I made the rules. I gritted my teeth and I wrote them down for you, just today, just now. It has to be that horrible, rude, lazy pen, and if I am ever going to reach my very important goals, I'm going to have to take matters into my own hands.

I'm going to pick UP the pen and WRITE with it.

Take THAT, stubborn pen.

Now nothing can stop me.


Ellen Morris Prewitt said...

Congratulations on the filing!!! It was a good one to start with.

Ellen Morris Prewitt said...

Congratulations! It was a good one to start with.

Mary Hane said...

Awesome job my friend!!! You have an amazing natural talent with your words which is mighty. I can't wait to read the next one ma'am...

Marisa said...

Thanks for the support, guys! It is so important, and unbelievably helpful!