A crap date and being stuck on the A14 for two hours afterwards got me thinking about striving less and the valuing of sitting down and having a cup of tea and just enjoying the moment. As my old boss used to say: ‘Sometimes I likes to sits and thinks, and sometimes, I just sits...’
No dear readers, I have not suddenly become interested in football. The only time I do take an interest in the beautiful game is during the World Cup when England is playing. I get the basic concept, that of men tossing a ball around a pitch and generally failing to get it in the net – thought I’d get my smutty euphemism in early – but that is where my interest wains.
So the point of today’s post is: why being made to feel that you should spend every given moment striving for perfection gives me arse ache. I was on a particularly dull date the other week where the tight-fisted gentleman in question rattled on about the need to constantly push oneself by setting goals and achieving targets. Fine, in your working life when you’re paid to have performance management targets, then I’ll do it, but in my outside life? Really?
I made the mistake of mentioning that I was going taekwondo the next morning. He insisted the purpose of training was not to have fun and a laugh with my friends but that I should ‘push myself at any given moment.’ Even my journey to work was goal-oriented. When I leave in the morning, I sometimes cycle, sometimes I walk and if it’s raining, I’ll take the car because I don’t want to get wet. That’s all there is to it. Oh no, apparently I have to cycle in everyday, even in the ice and rain, ‘to keep constantly pushing yourself, create new targets and reach them.’ Oh for God’s sake, I just want to get to work dry, in one piece and sane! Due to the lack of humour, dinner and inability to set goals and targets whilst drinking my Diet Coke in a pub, he did not get another date.
And this is how I feel about writing . Currently, there is NaNoWriMo going on, and that is a good thing. Lots of writer friends have taken up the challenge to write 50k words in November and I wish them the best of luck. I hope they have a good manuscript to work with at the end and it’s a great way of keeping motivated. Unfortunately, November isn't the best month for me to do it as I’m usually quite busy at work, so I tend to do my own version of NaNoWriMo in June or July, more like NaJoWriMo-ish for me.
I've got my own personal goals and targets in writing. I’d like to get an agent, in fact, my new novel Ashwood House is being rejected by them right now. That’s the way of things, but all I need is a sliver of an opportunity and I’ll be in there like a rat up a drainpipe. I've got at least four or five more novels and several short story ideas and they’ll get done, in time. I normally set a goal of about a thousand words a day, and if I manage it then great, but if I don’t, then I’ll do it another day. It’ll get done. I just don’t need some boring, lizard shaped, crap date lecturing me about goals and targets, especially on an empty stomach.
I write because I like it. If I get there, then great, if I don't, then I'll brush myself down and keep buggering on. What else is there to do?
I've got some great guest posts and interviews coming up, so keep your eyes peeled.