A Novel Idea

The Challenge

Posted on: May 25, 2010

If you could achieve anything, what would it be?

Are you working towards that goal, in some way, every day?

If you had asked me these questions a year ago, I could answer the first without hesitation.

I want to be a writer.

To the second question, I would have to squirm a little, not wanting to admit that the answer is ‘no’. I would say something about ‘finding my mojo’ and how demanding my 10-14 hour per day corporate job is. I would politely excuse myself – no I don’t have time to discuss why I’m not really doing anything about the one thing I actually want in this life. I’m too busy achieving arbitrary numbers for a corporate bottom line and being paid for it thank you very much.

Months later,  it is New Year’s Eve 2009. I’m on the other side of the world, enjoying the trip of a lifetime with my fiance. We’ve been scrimping and saving so long for this.

In our cosy hotel room in Paris, we’re writing out our goals for the year ahead. I’m cross-legged on the bed scrawling in a beautifully bound journal and he’s typing away at the desk. The champagne is wedged into the tiny mini-bar, waiting to christen the new year.

At this point, I should mention that the year ahead holds an age-bracket birthday for me. When I was younger I didn’t mind moving higher up in the marketer’s boxes. In fact it felt like I was somehow more important, more experienced. Moving from 15-17 to 18-24 was great. I could imagine all the exciting things I was going to do and try in that time. But at some point, when you’re avoiding what you most want to do with your life, moving age boxes is like moving from a house with character to a sensible apartment. Sure, you can afford it and your basic needs are met, but the sense of potential is gone.

My partner offers me a snack – I’d never eat in my own bed like this but somehow ’cause we’re on holidays and we’re in PARIS, I feel it’s okay to channel some Marie Antoinette indulgence. It’s a runny white goat’s cheese smeared decadently across fresh baguette.

I’m feeling quite wonderful at this point. I’ve totally forgotten about the project that is waiting for me at work. I’m ignoring the banking glitch that has meant I can’t pull out any Euros until the next working day. I’ve got a list of SMART goals in front of me, canvassing the major life areas of family/friends, health, personal, financial, etc. Let’s pop the champagne, I say.

We trade goals. I save the one I most want to meet till last.

I want to be a published author. I’m giving myself until my birthday in April 2011 to be published and paid for at least one work, I say.

What I really want to say, but am concerned it’s not achievable, not just in the timeframe, but maybe I just don’t have it in me, is I want that work to be my first novel.

This blog is the story of that personal challenge. I never intended to blog about this, in fact I’m a ridiculously private person, but I’m running into obstacles. This is my way of working through them. Excuse me while I confess publicly.

You can call me Violet, or V for short. Share this journey with me.

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2 Responses to "The Challenge"

Violet, I love this, really. I too am rather private but I also decided to give up the day job to finish my novel, however, I don’t have an exact deadline as to when I want to be done with, so your idea is even more exciting. Go for it, seriously because life is too short and if don’t try to became our own dreams come true, nobody will do it for you. Wish you the best of luck and I’ll be reading your confessions 🙂

Thanks Agatha.

I’ve always found a looming deadline to be a good motivator!

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