Falling Off The Camel But Getting Back On The Horse

by - April 18, 2016

~ on uneasy goals and attainable challenges ~

In March I signed myself up for Camp NaNoWriMo which is just like November's NaNoWriMo except you set your own word count goal. I thought it would give me the aggressive push I needed to really dive into Animals Don't Talk On The Moon and force the story out of me. I meant well. I really did. And I really wanted it. I love this fantastical tale that's taken up residence in my brain, gnawing away, begging to be told. So why not?!

I set my goal for 30,000 words.

goal setting

Then the only thing in the world that became important to me was sunshine and budding trees...

We're eighteen days into April and I've written 4,759 words. Yes, there are still 12 days left and yes, I could do it if my heart was in it.

If my heart was in it.

Camels plod through desert sand with incredible perseverance. A hump of water. Hair falling over pretty eyes. And they go and go and sustain their keeper, spitting on the path, one foot in front of the other until the sun bakes them or Aladdin hires them for a showy entrance to Agrabah. Really, they're only as motivated as their rider. Give them a day off and they'll lay under a cactus plant, batting their lashes and napping the day away. {Obviously I don't know the first thing about camels, but bear with me, I'm trying to work out a metaphor...}

So I set my goal. I marked my map. I signed off with my travel agent—all visa's secure and toll money in my pocket—and I hit the trail with good intentions. BUT then my bum got really sore, sitting up high on that bony hump, and my mouth got full of dust, and I got discouraged by poor health, tooth aches, and the income tax I have to pay.

All I wanted was for my horizon to be my background so I could curl beneath an olive branch and reclaim my motivation.

So I did.

I quit.

I slid off that camel—he was smelly anyway—and I wrapped myself in colourful shawls and took a nap by a shady sand dune and waited for my heart to align with my destination.

And my heart said, "Go eat some chocolate and stop being so serious!"

So there it sits. That incredible children's fable, resting at 4,759 words and I feel perfectly fine about it.

Because sometimes goals aren't the right thing. I mean, goals are great, but sometimes you just foul it up in the setting of them.

Let's strip it down:

What is my goal?

        My goal is to write.

Why do I write?

       Because I love it.


And how shall I do it?

       Like a tattooed cowboy!

So I've dusted myself off, decided to let that stray cow wander a bit {the cow is Animals Don't Talk On The Moon - keep up people!}, packed some cans of beans and a plaid blanket and swung myself into the saddle of Pleasure Seeker {pure-bred, black-eyed, award winning stallion} and rode away from that sleeping camel, into a sunset of pure romantic corniness where, for a season, I will write for the pure pleasure of it.

I will, of course, continue on the search for representation. The Church In The Wildwood is ready to sell and I'm perfecting my query with firm plans to start sending it out by the end of the month. It's a good goal and I'm feeling positive about it.

All other writing, right now, will be frivolous and silly and fun and easy and whatever I'm in the mood for at that particular moment.

Because why should it be a grind when it can be a joy?

I'll be posting some work to Wattpad as things move forward. It's an experiment of sorts. I'm interested to see if it's a good platform through which to build a readership. I'd love if you popped over and had a peek. There's one short story there already and I'll be posting parts of another all this week!

Now this horse and I? We're off to find a campfire. We've got camel burgers to cook.

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  1. No matter how you describe camels, lets face it they still have toes. that's right I said it.

  2. There can be such beauty in frivolous writing. And who wants to write if it's not enjoyable?

    You are wise to listen to where your writer's heart is leading you.

  3. Feel the same. Am trying freelancing gigs for money, but it is so exhausting (a lot of work for little pay). And, it is often not even fun stuff to write. Thought I'd try wattpad with some of my failed contest attempts.

    1. I'm so happy you're giving it a try. I'm having a lot of fun with it and it's a wonderful avenue for bringing old attempts to light - or I think it is...I'm still brand new to the platform. Who knows, what you thought were 'failures' could turn into something people really connect to. I'm excited to follow you there and read your stuff!


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