The goal in the writing of something and all all all
I am calling for a cessation of any goal setting for the next month. That is right. One month and you don't set a goal. Not even a goal to not set a goal for a month. I am not saying goals are bad. They can give us a good roadmap for our creative life. But goals can become the crutch we lean on. Instead of doing our actual craft we create goals around it. You can't create because you have not set a goal yet. The goal becomes a roadblock instead of a catalyst. When your goals become a blockade it is time to knock them down for a while and roam free in the land of creativity.
You know right now you have unused goals sitting in the back of your closet. You made them with full intention to achieve them. Then what happened? C'mon fess up. The goals are just sitting there on the paper, not a check mark next to them. Maybe you were going to exercise but you got distracted by the smell of coffee at the local coffee joint. There you were on the way to the gym and whoa, the next thing you are having a double mocha with extra whip cream. Hey it is hard work to lift that coffee cup up to your parched lips. You need energy to fulfill all those goals that you have yet to get out of the back of your closet.
Okay so no goals for a month. What to do instead?
I propose that in the absence of clearly defined goals we pursue our art with renewed vigor. Maybe you had a goal to write more. You were going to write three pages a day and outline your novel then collate all your poems into a chapbook. I can imagine, if you are like me you are really proud of your goals. And if you are like me you have done a heck a lot of research towards reaching your goals.
But how many have you really written? If you have done three pages a day- then congratulations. We can all applaud someone who pursues their dreams with gusto. Most of us flounder a bit with our determination to achieve our goals. We beat ourselves up. Pondering why we can't do what we say we want to do. We waste a lot of time mulling our inability to pursue what it is we say we want to do.
I have to say I think this is really tiring. How about you? Tired? Do you want to just get to it? So let's have a goal. For the next month there will be no goal setting. We will just create. When we get up in the morning, let's write instead of reviewing our goals. The morning coffee run will be a fact finding mission for our next book. When the urge to make a list shows up, then write 10 new adjectives that you have never used in your writing. This feels a little more exciting. Hmmm. I overheard an interesting conversation on the subway I wonder where I can use it? Yesterday while walking in Times Square I saw a woman walking without a warm coat or a hat. Was she crazy for fashion or just crazy? I think I will try and write a poem about her.
You want to be a well-paid artist or well-essay writer or well-article writer but at the moment you live in the four-story walk up. Having a vision naturally creates a bit of tension. Setting goals helps define the road map but at some point you must live in the reality of where you are now. In order to get to well-paid you must first work diligently on your craft. Creating the vision is the first step. Creating is what happens in between. Spend your time doing the work you love to do and then let the goals flow from that creativity. You may find just doing becomes so exciting you may want to keep on creating new and better goals.
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