Why do we do what we do? Why do we show up at work each day and slave away? What if we don’t like what we do? Why don’t we change our direction towards something we want to do?
The answer is simple. We gain momentum in life and changing momentum is difficult.
Momentum, scientifically, equals mass multiplied by velocity.
We can have many different momentums (can you pluralise momentum?). For example, my children provide me with a certain momentum, metaphorically, when I reflect on the above scientific equation. They and I are busy propelling them through school. They have a velocity of one grade each year, and their mass is the accumulated education of previous years. This multiplies, and the end result is the momentum to reach the end of school. Let’s hope they pay enough attention to their education so they don’t falter before they reach the end.
Employment is another example. Some people travel with great velocity towards the top of their career. They’re the high flyers. Again, let me suggest the mass equates to their capability, which can be improved through education and experience. Neglect the mass, and the momentum can peter out. There’s no reason you can’t restore the momentum, but the mathematics rule the equation – make sure you work on your mass...
I suspect you could derail my little metaphor here, but not inside this blog. It’s my blog.
Getting enough momentum to write a novel has taken some serious work. Momentum started back at primary school. All my stories in Grade 3 were longer than everyone else’s. Once I started writing I couldn’t stop. My voracious appetite for reading caused me to wonder if I could do the same. The seeds were sown. Over the following years of education, prior to employment, I occasionally worked on my mass (no smart remarks thank you). English literature in Year 11. First year English literature hidden inside my Bachelor of Science.
Then a short course in creative writing. Only eight weeks long. More mass, but no velocity.
The breakthrough was the suggestion from my wife to do something serious. I started at Holmesglen TAFE – a diploma of professional writing and editing. I don’t need the diploma. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science. I took the course to gain some mass, but mainly velocity. I needed something to get me travelling.
I have a pile of short stories from my first three years at Holmesglen. Year 1: Popular Fiction. Year 2: Short Story 1. Year 3: Short Story 2. Then a hiatus as I studied Editing 1 in year 4. Finally I tackled Novel 1 in year 5, last year, and Novel 2 this year.
Another time I’ll tell you about the things I’ve learned. But rest assured; I’ve got velocity. Writing is a habit now. Nearly every day, 300 or more words. Writing every day would deliver 110,000 words in a year, which is enough for a novel. With 80,000 words in my first novel written already I have mass too. It’s impossible to consider not finishing.
Now I’ve got a blog with a few posts. I have two short stories on the go. It’s been a huge investment to get this momentum, but with a fair amount of fun along the way, and a few friends I would never have met in my normal circles.
Who knows if I’ll get published. I have no illusions about this. But I have changed the momentum of my life. You can too.