I’m blessed with the life I have, my family, my friends. Beyond that basic and profound statement, meaning in my life revolves around my writing. And for the last decade-plus, meaningfulness has equated to the narrative history I’m working on. I’ve spent far too long on it and most have given up on it and given up on me, but in 2018 I plan to turn it into reality (note how careful I am with words, I didn’t utter the word “finish”!). The 1,000 Big Year is it, 2018’s thorniest obsession.
The idea is simple. For 43 weeks of the year (that is, excluding travel), I shall rise at 5 AM and then over the morning draft 1,000 words. 1,000 words is 4 pages, roughly, so do the maths, that’s a heap of pages. Slow has been the adjective that best categorised my drafting over 2017, but steadily I’ve become speedier and speedier. A few “training sessions” late in 2017 have convinced me I can do it.
Another rule: no morning Facebook. No skimming The Age newspaper. Not even the briefest checking of emails. In 2018 my mornings shall be uninterrupted, always “on,” If I was back at work in a Collins Street office, “on” would be my middle name, and that’s what I need to emulate.
Another principle: plan, record, monitor, and review, over every morning. Easy to say, tough to do, and various project management approaches I’ve attempted over the last few years have failed. I’m going to try any approach that works, but I need to end up being able to push at real daily goals and to convert progress data into proper future forecasts.
The most onerous aspect of this 1,000 Big Year? My afternoons are now potentially packed with stress. Life’s glories, life’s chores, and three other Big Years, need to be managed and made to work in the period from noon till bedtime. Somehow, this prospect excites me: isn’t life wonderful?