I recently read a post on my brother's blog about how he was in love with the idea of social networking, but didn't really feel like he had anything worth sharing. I know how he feels. Of course, this has never really stopped me as countless blog posts and podcasts will attest to. I think the problem is that we get into these social networks, and start following the lives of people that we admire and want to be like. We get these glimpses into their lives and see what they are working on and we think to ourselves, "Wow, that is so cool, I wish I could be involved in something like that." Then we go back to our dull lives wishing that only we lived in the right place or hung out with the right group of people so we could do interesting things with our lives. It is an easy trap to fall into.
The biggest and most obvious issue here is that we look to external forces and circumstances to give our life meaning. That will always fail. There is nothing separating us from those we look up to save the effort we expend towards our goal. Of course some people are lucky. Of course factors of wealth and geography affect the outcomes of some endeavors. But in the end, if our lives are boring and unfulfilled, we have only ourselves to blame. I've lived on both coasts. I was in the middle of Silicon Valley while much of this social networking and The Internet as we know it was taking off. I wasted the opportunity to really immerse myself in it. It just wasn't my nature, I was too busy stressing over the day to day aspects of my job and life to really pay attention to all the wonderful opportunity and excitement around me.
Now I'm in Kansas and I find myself lamenting that fact. There are a dozen other places I would rather be than here. The problem is, I would still be me no matter where I was. And I appear to be the weakest link on the chain of my success. (There is a wonderful Thoreau Quote about this, but I can't find it at the moment.)
So, in response to all of this I think I want to do something kind of interesting. Nothing earth shattering, nothing that hasn't been done before. But something interesting to me, something that I watch others do and say "Wow, I wish I could do that."
I've dabbled with writing fiction for years now. I've churned out some good stuff, but I've lacked the discipline to complete a work and polish it up to make it presentable. I need to make a commitment to change that. I have a piece that I think has real promise, but it isn't complete. So I'm making it my goal to finish a draft of it within the next six months, and then to get it edited and completed within six more months. Basically I am giving myself one year to get a story into shape to submit to publishers. At this point I will do one of two things. Either launch an effort to get it published, or self publish it myself as an audio podcast. I've got several friends that I could work on this with, and I think it would be a blast.
Committing to something a year away may not be a huge step. It is important however to set reasonable goals. I hope I will actually accomplish this in a much shorter time period, but I'm going to give myself a little room to breathe.
I've added a little text countdown meter over on the right bar just beneath my inane Twitter Updates to keep me aware of time slipping unproductively away.