“Now listen, you who say, ’Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’
’Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (NIV James 4:13)
When you’ve had a brain injury and life has been turned upside down and inside out and over-hard, you tend not to think about life goals. And long-term goals are about what to do next week, for next month is barely perceptible, and anything farther away than that is incomprehensible. It isn’t just because time and how I perceive it has strangely changed, it’s also because twice already I’ve had my dreams severely disrupted because of car crashes. I don’t feel like tempting fate again.
But my therapist, the one who helps organize me and keeps me on track, decided in our last session that we were going to set writing goals for me, real honest-to-goodness goals like other people, like normal people who don’t expect life to go into the dumpster without warning, making one’s goals a joke. Today, on the first working day of 2012, I’m thinking “you gotta name em to claim em.” And so here they are. But first, an introductory word:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) provides the motivation and initiation I lack to put what’s in my head into action. A novel or book is a big undertaking, and computers and iDevices aren’t up to the task of making that kind of writing happen. An AI would. But since that technology isn’t in my realm yet, NaNoWriMo works plus I’d rather be part of a community, it’s more fun. (Yes, I wrote that, me the one who loves her artificial thinking machines!)
Knowing this, my therapist suggested we plan around NaNoWriMo:
NaNoWriMo has three events throughout the year: the big one in November (NaNoWriMo) where the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel; Script Frenzy in April where the goal is to write a 100-page screenplay, play, graphic novel, or similar; and Camp NaNo in June or August. I’ve done the first two but not the last one.
I will write my main novels in November during NaNoWriMo. I will then spend the following four months revising, getting feedback, having it edited, and finishing final revisions before April. Gulp.
In April, I will write a play or work on one I’ve already done, the idea being it’s for fun, to hone my skills, and maybe down the road, for publication. But mostly in the total spirit of NaNoWriMo, which is to create for creation’s sake.
In June or August (I think we said August…), I will write another novel, but something easier, lighter that will take less time to revise. I usually use the summer months to outline and prep for my November writing, so this might be a squeeze. On the other hand, it seems that each year, my outlining gets moved closer and closer to November. I’m feeling quite nebulous about this goal, but as it gets closer, I should, with support, be able to grasp it and make it work for me.
So there you have it: writing goals. Scary.