According to dictionary.com, the expression ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ means someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole.
Today I’m feeling the reverse. As the time to begin NaNoWriMo is upon me. (was upon me 8 hrs and 50 minutes ago, to be exact). I realize that I have focused way to much on the big picture.
‘Picture? ‘You ask, ‘I thought NaNoWriMo was about writing a novel.’ ( I guess I am a novelist, as I’m putting words in your mouth…)
‘Its a metaphor’ I respond. ‘For my lack of preparedness. I got so excited to write the dang thing and become a novelist that I forgot I HAD TO WRITE THE GODDAMMED WORDS EVERYDAY. LIKE EVERYDAY. LIKE 1700 OF THEM.
I was all about the signing up for the project. Making it public. Starting a twitter hashtag (follow along at #nanobliss), and encouraging others to write their novels too. The 50,000 words over 30 days didn’t seem like a big deal. Its was a nice round number. I was looking at the forest from the satellite view of Google Maps.
Then, I woke up this morning and thought,
‘Oh crap. crap crap crap crap crap crap.I have to write some of those words TODAY. Like NOW. I told EVERYONE. And there’s a deadline. And I have to write the thing.’
My supposed ‘support group’ on Twitter started pressuring me.
That one totally freaked me out.
How about this one?
How rude. With that, she was just trying to make me feel bad.
The self-doubt started to wash all over me. The Start-Stopper was taking over. The Start-Stopper is a very strong influence. But then, I thought about what I want out of life, and how Sharon DeVellis has started Speed Skating, which is Holy Mother of Coffee scary if you ask me.
And how Sharon’s Speed Skating metaphor is about starting to zoom in on that forest and start looking at the trees (actually that’s my metaphor. She doesn’t have a metaphor. She is literally speed skating because she really wanted to and it scared the shit out of her).
About how when you only look at the forest, you get so excited about big the forest is, and how great your plans are, but then if you don’t look at each tree individually, and how its going to grow, and how you’re going to water it…etc etc.. then the trees will die and there will be no more forest.
Sharon goes to her Speedskating and just speeds skates. And doesn’t worry about winning the Olympics or being Queen of Speedskating, or getting rich from endorsement deals, she just skates. She looks at the trees.
Today, I’m going to start looking at the trees. Instead of JUST focusing on my goal, and who’s going to star in the movie of my invisible novel (Robert Downey Jr.), and how many pairs of UGGs and Lululemons I’m going to buy with all the money, I’m going to actually figure out how I’m going to get there; the doing it.
THIS IS MY TREE: I’m going to write 1700 words every day before 4:00, until and by November 30.
(30 days has September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31 except for February, which has 27 and on occasion, like this year, 28. Are you telling me you don’t recite that every time you need to figure out how many days are in a month?)
Hopefully those words will coalesce into something coherent. Or else, after I submit, and get my ‘Winner’s Certificate’. I’ll hit the delete button and start over.
In other news, but related to the forest, ITS MOVEMBER. Since I can’t grow a moustache (THANK GOD AND MY GOOD GENES), I will be supporting the cause by growing my leg hairs as part of Noshember (No Shave November).
Let’s hope it gets long enough for braids & some beads because that would be pretty.