I recently watched two distinct but (in my mind) somewhat related movies about goals and reaching for them. “Everest” and “The Walk”.
“Everest” chronicles the doomed 1996 expedition to reach the summit of Everest, where most of the people making the attempt to ascend the mountain were lost at some point due in part to a severe winter storm that came through while the climbers were at or near the summit.
“The Walk” recounts Philippe Petit, the man who walked across a tightrope suspended from between the then twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York (quite illegally at that).
Now, what do these two have in common with whatever I’m trying to say here? I’ll tell you.
I’m a big goals person. If you know me at all, you know I usually have one or more goals in mind. Years back, it may have been preparing a piece of music in grade school or high school to be judged in a solo and ensemble festival. Later years, my goals included things like getting my grades up in college after a tough semester, or studying to get an IT Certification.
As of late, several of my goals are writing related. Publishing short stories, novels, etc.
I think it’s not only good to have a goal, but to do whatever you can to strive towards it. I watched “The Walk” and it really locked in with me, the struggle of Petit to do something big, to make a statement, no matter how over the top grandiose or extremely dangerous it was.
I’m sure he felt the danger. Watching the movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s great portrayal of Petit, stepping out and just enveloping himself in his dream, his goal. It really resonated with me. I think of my writing goals often, and while I’m not exactly scaling the World Trade Center or climbing Mount Everest, they are every bit as important to me as I’m sure Petit’s walk and those climbers of Everest held their aspirations.
One of the climbers depicted in “Everest”, a Japanese woman named Yasuko, evidently had a goal to ascend the seven highest mountain peaks in the world. Her ascent of Everest in 1996 was the seventh and final ascent, and she made it. Tragically, her story didn’t end well afterward. But the spirit she had to aim for that goal, and press on in spite of what turned out to be insurmountable odds, touched and inspired me deeply.
Maybe it’s easy for me to tout having goals, sitting at a laptop and typing away, where my biggest threats are likely eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome. But I feel inspired by people who reach out and strive to accomplish. It’s a part of life that I think makes things worthwhile. It’s not the only thing, but it is a tremendous part.
Whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re at in life, whatever your dreams are, don’t just cherish them. Chase them.
Very excited that I’m done with the writing phase of my dystopian manuscript! I’ve been working on this particular piece on and off since about mid 2013, so this is a great accomplishment. Currently, the manuscript is approximately 86k words in length and is what I’d say about the third draft.
Mind you, I may still have a little bit of rewriting in order on this one. I plan to read it from start to finish though. The way I wrote this one, very little of an outline… it seems necessary to go back through to make sure what I’ve written and anything else I intend to write to fill in the gaps fits with the story. Otherwise, I’ll just be writing end on end forever. At some point it’s got to be finished, right?
My hope and plan for this is to be fine tuning and polishing this manuscript up throughout 2016, and then start presenting/querying this to prospective agents by 2017. I’m giving myself some time to get it together so it feels right. Seems better for me to have a goal, but not one so imminent and close that I rush things.
I still have the 2nd half of a critique of my general fiction manuscript to work through as well, so I’ve got something to break up my train of thought a bit too. I find that helps me from getting stagnant.
Anyway, plenty of writing and rewriting work in my near future. Now I wonder if the Bayou Writers Group will be sending their novel length project for me to edit as well. Busy times!
I hope you’re all well and are able to write and read plenty!
Besides the challenge of coming up with all the different elements of a story and making them all fit together in an entertaining way, I find just having time to write lately is a challenge. Do you have this problem too?
Some members of the writers group I belong to, Bayou Writers Club, suggest to determine a good time of day for you to write, and develop a habit of always writing at that time. Some people like to write early in the morning, others, late at night.
Lately, my best time has been around lunch time at work. I may only get 300-500 words in at a clip, but it’s writing time. Enough days of writing around 500 words at a clip and I’ll have a good amount of material to work with in short time.
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