Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I need to make a list...

Of things that I should reference back to, six months from now.

I always have an ever-changing, constantly rotating list of issues, tasks, and goals, churning over and over in my brain. And, just like any other job or project, the items on this list need to have a scheduled time-for-completion. For example: if you want to actually run a marathon, you will need to schedule this "life dream", and do so as soon as possible. It will never be convenient to run a marathon, and it will be next to impossible if "finally get around to it" after your retirement at age 83. So get to scheduling it, if you plan on seeing it happen.

This post is about my own fucking list. I curse the list because it is the purpose, and simultaneously the bane of my existence. It is what drives me. It is what fuels my ambition, and gives reason for my regret. It is the ever-present proof that I am both extremely capable, and fascinatingly lazy. It is the measuring stick I will use when on my death bed, to decide whether or not my life added up to what I wanted it to. It oscillates between prized trophy and "time's up" buzzer. My yin & yang of productive capacity.

On to the goddamn list, as it stands today. No particular order here. Just a simple listing of what needs to happen, with associated completion requirements.

1) make a fucking list that doesn't include crazy shit like: write a novel. What the fuck does that mean? You can't "schedule" that shit, can you? I mean, that's like "scheduling" a painting. You only do that for commissioned pieces for fuck's sake.

2) make a list that DOES NOT include crazy-ass places to vacation to. This just leads to frustration in that you have yet to honestly control all the variables involved in carting yourself (and Ava) around the globe. Too many goddamn variables. Schedule the control of those variables first.

3) Stop making these useless lists, and learn to ignore the need to perpetually rate your current-self against less-wise previous selves. You might live longer that way.

4) Ignore number three, as it is unreasonable to assume that comparison will not lead to some kind of enlightenment concerning oneself.

5) Get a more gas efficient vehicle before the end of May 2005.

Carry on then.


Sean said...

Here's a list that might make a good starting point.

Then again, the author shot and killed a bunch of people from the UT tower shortly after writing it. He suffered from a condition called hypergraphia This condition is also associated with temporal lobe epilepsy. Vincent van Gogh had this condition too.

Taken together, these facts are even funnier when I remember that siezure I had after visiting the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and how I feel the need to write all this out.

Maybe if I had a sniper rifle I could make all the voices stop.

That's a joke, of course.

Truecraig said...

Heh heh. Whitman's lists look like mine! He smarty pants guy with gun and death! Yes! But he was a self-centered fellow with a monstrous ego and an arsenal. I, on the other hand, have no arsenal. Oh, and my lists aren't as general as his.

Whitman needed some serious meds.

Anonymous said...

Why is it unreasonable to set a schedule for writing a novel? It might be ambitious, yes, but it is certainly reasonable to make forecasts for yourself.

Would it be more palatable instead if you establish a time for yourself to write the first chapter of your novel? Or have your first short story be ready for submission for publication?

I have, so far, one reason why you should push on the writing: Shelly did not eat the roach. To be honest, I did not much like the story, but I appreciate that you did not make Shelly eat the roach. Eating the roach would have been obvious. It would have been a bore. A 10th grader would have made Shelly eat the roach. It took discipline not to make Shelly eat the roach, and I am interested in seeing what that discipline will next produce.

Now, as a complete aside, and with advance apologies to C for being off topic, CarmenJayne, if you read this comment, would you please change the setting of your blog to permit anonymous comments? I promise not to stay past my welcome.

Truecraig said...

Dear Anonymous: It is fascinating to me that you read the roach story. It is also fascinating that her not eating it was what you gathered. I wish you had gathered more from it, but that may be due, in part, to the story itself. Thanks for reading and commenting, regardless.

As for writing a novel: The writer should not schedule it. Leave that to a publisher. A writer must find out WHAT drives them to write, and push on that instead. Love? Pain? Clever concepts? Deception? What DRIVES you to write? If DEADLINES drive you to write, then you are a hack, and your work will prove it. Just like everything else remotely creative: schedules should only be applied by trusted outsiders. I mean, honestly, has anyone else figured out why sophomore albums always suck so hard?

If, as a result of not finding proper motivation to write (something beyond a nagging calendar) you never write anything, then I would argue that you never really had anything to write in the first place. Just my opinion.