A couple of days ago, I went on Facebook to announce my essay adventure. Although my announcement will be overlooked by many, and may come off as arrogant bragging to a few, I think it was a bold gesture. I’m not boasting about writing an essay a day. I’m committing to it, in the easiest way I know how, with all of its accountability. Most likely none of my FB friends will come asking, “Hey, where’s that essay you promised?” But they might. The task is not my secret anymore. It’s out and about.
One of the things I intend to do this year (intention vs resolution – is there an essay in that?) is refine my coaching message. I am a firm believer that the best way to achieve a goal is to start it, get into its rhythm, be drawn into the routine of the effort. My son, Cameron calls it “not breaking the chain.” Once a certain number of links are forged and a length of chain emerges, it is easier in your mind to envision continuing to build it than to break it.
But goals are nebulous things. “I want to write a book about…” is much different than “I want to write THIS book.” The clearer the vision of the goal is, the more real the target seems. It’s why I have heeded the advice of always preparing a cover for my NANOWRIMO novel before I start writing. The cover gives the novel permanence, or at least a potential archetypal place in my life. I am not creating from whole cloth so much as filling that space.
In many ways, that was the effect of my Facebook announcement. Even if there is no real expectation among my friends that they will see an essay a day, there is the potential expectation now. I have given myself an audience and a deadline. Now, I just need to fill in the ellipsis in between.