Friday December 1, 2006
I’ve been sitting here wondering what on earth I’m going to do about the ‘six stories in six weeks’ challenge due to start on Sunday. And dreading it, to be honest.
I’m over the physical nasties of my attack of bronchitis, and feeling a little stronger each day. Even so, there are long periods most days when all I want to do is sit quietly and listen to the clock tick. Or watch the sky, if there’s any sun around. Or just sit.
Now and again, at really quiet times, I get a visit from the “go to sleep, old man” fairy and I find it impossible to gainsay her entirely ungentle blandishments.
It’s a happy time for me. I’m glad to be alive, glad to be getting stronger, glad to be able to enjoy my coffee in the morning and my wine in the evening. It’s a full time, too. Every hour is accounted for and filled with pleasurable and healthy things. Not a spare minute left over for anything in the way of writing apart from the routine of my daily journal.
So, how am I going to manage the writing of six new stories in that kind of programme?
The straight answer is that I am not. It’s a challenge I’ve no hope of meeting, leave alone beating.
In my business days I used to say that a target, any target, has to be one you can reach. You may have to stretch. You may have to stretch to your maximum. That’s a good thing. It has to a task that can be achieved, however, or it’s not a target at all, it’s a guarantee of failure and an assurance of disappointment. That crap about reaching for the stars and being content with the moon never did it for me. In my experience, over-reaching yourself leads to nothing more than a prat-fall.
I see no compelling reason why I should sit here dreading an undertaking I know I shall not be able to complete. The world will not tremble in its orbit for lack of six new stories from me.
I am unanimous in this.