Sunday, 31 May 2015

Follow Through

I don't remember which year it was, but it was some years ago, when I decided I would try Christine Kane's "word" exercise for the year. You choose a word and it is supposed to be something you remember and work towards for the whole year. Not being very good at following rules, I chose two words: follow through.

Because following through on anything had always been my Achilles Heel. I would get into something so enthusiastically, all that energy, all that fizz, all those dreams, fully intending that I would end with a bang, that I would have something to show for it, and it would develop and grow into something beautiful.

About the only things I ever managed to complete were needlework projects. Because even if I got bored and let them lie a couple of days, a couple of months, I could always pick up where I had left off. These projects didn't judge me. They were happy to see me again. And yes, I had a sense of progress as I moved through them. And I completed quite a few major ones.

And the people I gave them to, well, they loved them.

But as for the rest of my life:

This year I fully intended to complete my first novel.

Well I did.

A first draft.

And there it sits, gathering dust because the longer I leave it, the more reluctant I am to take it up again, to grapple with it, to massage or chisel it into some kind of shape. I know I should. And I make plans as to how I can.

Like if I go to work early every day, I can leave at a decent time, which means the night would be all mine, to do all these other projects. Maybe spend half an hour a day on the tapestry I intend to give Katherine. An hour on a letter I would write, giving it due attention rather than being some rush job at the end of the week so I send out the required number.

And maybe, an hour on the book...just an hour a day. Surely even I could manage that. I would type of the chapters...then get to work. Maybe yes, maybe at first I should just type out the chapters as is. Just leaving it in all their unedited glory.

And then, I should spend the one hour a day, working on them.

Does this mean no more nights out? No more Marking on a Monday night, going out for dinner with my friends, etc etc etc?

I don't know. Everything is up in the air, a work in progress.

But I get a sense of urgency creeping in these days. So much of my life has been put on hold, something I would get back to later when I was more in the mood.

Guess what. It's later now. Later than I ever thought it would be, with so little to show for it.

And so today, I commit to follow through. I know it's not the beginning of the year. But it's not the end either. At the end of the year, I will reckon up my accounts to see just what 2015 has brought me. I know what I hope. Now let's see how it plays out.

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