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Image by Stefan Sagmeister

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Yeah, yeah, I’m thinking about my goals for 2010. Am I getting a late start? Maybe a little. But one of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how silly it might be to set goals for an ENTIRE YEAR before that year even begins. Granted, it’s what I’ve done in the past and, yes, it works out. Kind of. But for the most part, things happen. I mean this in both senses of the word. For one, things happen that get in the way of whatever goals I’ve set (a different writing opportunity arises and sidetracks me, I move to another country, I become homeless, you know … those kinds of things). For another, things happen that mean the goals get done, even if they aren’t goals (I sit down and write every day no matter what, I submit to things that I didn’t even know existed when I made my goals, you do the work and at the end of the year things have happened, no matter what goals you did or didn’t set).

So, maybe I am disillusioned with the idea of goals. The way that some people because disillusioned with God. And yet, yet… I still feel the need to pray at the altar of goal setting, just in case someone’s actually out there, listening. I once had a friend who said, “Put it into the world and the world will hear.” And there’s part of me that still believes that.

Maybe goals are just designed to be a road map, a general guideline more than a set of rules (ala Pirates of the Caribbean). Maybe they should be the kind of thing that you lay out before you just so that you have a place to start. After all, the hardest part to getting where you want to end up is just that very first step, isn’t it? Maybe goals help me make that first step, and then can be reevaluated and discarded and altered as I go along.

With all of this musing in mind, I know I will set goals for this year. I will get down on my knees and make an offering to the Gods of All Things Writerly That I Want to Accomplish, because that is what I do. But this year, I will do it believing that goals are just something to help me get moving in the right direction. I don’t know if this is good or bad — perhaps it will be inspiring, or perhaps it will just make me not do anything — but it feels right for now.

I’ll give a list soon enough, but not yet. Because at the moment, my goals are… intangible. Or barely tangible. They’re big and massy and ever-expanding, like the universe. Hard to pin down. It kind of scares me. It kind of inspires me too.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

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“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” ~Edmund Hillary

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