Last year I did something impossible.
If I had broadcast my intention to my children they would have pooh-poohed the idea or patted me indulgently on the head.
"You do whatever makes you happy, mom."
whatever makes you happy
My kids love me like that.
But I'm a bit OCD.
I've wanted to write a novel since I was a kid.
I have always wanted to swim properly. To slice through the water smoothly and efficiently like my daughter.
OCD - obsessive-compulsive disorder
I set a goal, then map out the activities that take me to that goal.
It worked when I set myself the goal to run The Two Oceans Maraton. It is arguably the world's most scenic ultra marathon - 56 kilometers - around the Cape Peninsula and finishes in the shadow of Table Mountain. I did it! - and went on to run literally hundreds of marathons. But that's another story.
My swimming goal was to learn to swim in the first place, then participate in the Busselton Jetty Swim. I did it!
There's only one way to learn to swim, right?
And that's to hop into the water and swim.
I was too scared, and more than a bit embarrassed to admit I can't swim at the gym, so I went to the beach instead.
I hopped onto YouTube and found an amazing swimming coach who had this incremental approach to swimming. Almost every day for four months, I'd watch the video for 10 minutes, then go to the beach where I could fade into obscurity amongst all the kids and try and do what I had seen.
I literally started by lying face down in the water, lifting up my head to breathe was asking too much. I literally had to stand up to breathe. My initial forays into the water did not even last 10 minutes. Then I would go back home and analyze what I had done right or wrong. And repeat the practice until I felt happy to move to the next segment. Some days I went to the beach twice.
It took me about six weeks to work through a video one hour and thirty-two minutes long. The progress was painstaking, especially for poor Buzz. He was my biggest fan and the sweetest most patient coach. After the Big Swim, my goal was achieved, I was now hooked on swimming. Just before winter set in and it became too cold to swim I was swimming a kilometer three times a week.
I have been an endurance runner now for 27 years, I can see myself swimming way beyond the date I eventually hang my running shoes up on the overhead power lines.
My journey to the space where I now confidently declare myself a swimmer was so precise that it inspired me to set up this blog to achieve a leftover dream.
When I was eleven I started writing a novel. I need to finish that.
how do you eat an elephant?
While learning to swim I realized the truth of the saying that if you want to eat an elephant, all you need to do is to eat it bite by bite. Except I don't like the thought of eating elephants. Breaking down swimming into micro-movements worked for me.
My conclusion is
- all I need to to do write this novel is discover the micro-elements of writing and write them.
I can write.
I do write.
I have attended numerous courses on writing.
There is no single (or several) YouTube coach who is going to hold my hand from my opening sentence to the last words THE END.
There is plenty of info out there.
So while I collect the segments I need to put this whole thing together I might as well store them in one place.
launching the writer Gogo Buzz's blog
And Gogo Buzz as a Writer is launched.