For much of the last year, I had a goal in my signature, “I write and publish a rhyming children’s book by July 1, 2013”. This goal spurred some of my most delighted interactions with coworkers, family members and friends. I had nearly every lawyer I work with, volunteering their children as “test subjects” for the book (words from our German immigration counsel).
And for a period, in my year of this goal, I did work on the book. I have a clear sense of the heroine, of her struggle, and I have the rhyming scheme I like. I even wrote a complete first draft on construction paper with a sharpie.
So, what happened? Why didn’t the book come into being?
This is a question I’d been percolating with for the month, so that I could write some kind of ‘the goal isn’t complete, and here’s what I have to say about that’ blog post. And while I was percolating, Suzanne Conrad’s monthly newsletter came my way. And lo and behold, she has been experiencing the same question about a book related goal for herself!
Like Suzanne, there were really several sub-goals at play here. The one I used to grind to a halt was finding an illustrator and determining how to pay them (or how to get them on board with my story idea, in return for something else). When I no longer could just do it myself, the work towards my goal ceased. If I’m honest, I had done nothing more than discuss the idea of my book since November 2012, when I completed the first draft, and found myself uncertain about what next step to take.
So what now? I have a draft, which needs editing. I have an idea for art, which needs an artist. I have no idea how to actually publish anything, whether myself or with others.
The thinking I’ve done this month, has helped me reconnect with my vision, and what steps, thoughts and adventures I want to be taking to keep building that vision in life now. And, that thinking has helped me determine that for now, and for the forseeable future, I want to place the idea of my book in my ‘good ideas parking lot’. This goal has been a delightful one to hold in my life for a year, and it isn’t now aiding me in fulfilling what I want in life or forwarding my other goals.
What is? Well, that’s for another day.