A minor cold and suddenly it’s clear 2018 won’t offer case studies of how transformative Big Years can be. My Stillness Big Year – 10 minutes of Headspace a day – still works but that’s only because it’s trivially simple. The others:
1,000 Big Year: I don’t come anywhere near 1,000 words written a day, I’m not waking early, work is being done but probably the wrong work . . . you get the picture.
Freshness Big Year: Injury plus cold plus another cold mean all my annual targets are shot and I haven’t cycled in a fortnight.
Tractor Big Year: My afternoon one-hour “study how to publish and prosper” routine still gets honored in the breech (I’m learning heaps as I get Deadly Investment into online bookshops) but its regularity, that soothing regularity, has vanished.
Time to regroup . . . the very fact that I keep having to regroup every couple of months suggests the design of the 2018 Big Years was badly flawed . . . ah well, time to regroup . . .
This shit doesn’t hang together at all, so I go print out the hastily erected paras and shuffle them around. I cut and paste them. I take index cards and scribble truncated plot slogans onto them, treating them like Lego blocks, and then I can shuffle them. I despair and just gun down some swearing-laden plot ideas, desperate to corral them in my mind. I go back to my voluminous notes and read them again. I pace.
I can see it now, so I seat myself and reword paras and pages. Peace settles on the land. Then I realize this shit doesn’t hang together at all, so I go . . .
1,000 words by lunchtime?
Urgency grips the geek. 100 days! Can he do it? So what if he does?
I’ve reassessed progress and prospects. The picture over the four Big Years isn’t pretty but each has lifted me for the better. Over the next week or so, I’ll reshape the four pushes towards December 31. Call me excited!
The last fortnight has been thrilling but spent in the worlds of commerce and crime fiction, so it’s a wrench to get back into the most important work. Here’s a story I tell myself to reorient: “Once upon a time in the land of buffalo, clever people invent energy millions of times more powerful. Can they bottle it? It’s expensive – can cleverness turn it cheap enough? Oh they dream . . .”