I've been speaking with some mathematician friends of mine, and I have it on good authority that a ten-year period can contain anything up to ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY MONTHS. I know... I know. I was pretty gobsmacked as well. But it certainly helps put 'one month down' into context.
So I was in a mixture of moods when I went to see Michael Owen for our semi-regular interview session. Half of me was daunted by the size of the challenge, and the other half was encouraged by it. I mean, 119 months to go? I could do all sorts in that time, and probably will. When it comes down to it (the basics): it's just a very big chunk of time. I imagine I'll be President of the Future or something, by the end of it. Most people will be, I expect.
Michael remarked on my mood, which was very atsute of him, and I shared with him the reasons--ie., the mathematicians contraversial findings. He was even more surprised than me: he thought we were about two-thirds of the way through TYSIC already. Bless him.
MO: How goes the book? You were planning on having it roughly planned by now, I think?
That was the plan, yes. And I got it roughly planned out about a week ago, and embarked on some writing.
MO: Great news!
Well, sort of. I got about 10k into a draft, before coming across problems too deeply ingrained in the substance of the book to be ignored, even for now. So I went back to the skeleton stage, and got cracking at that again.
The revised plan is looking a lot better for the work, though it's not as complete as I'd like. I'm chalking up the false start in writing as a more proactive, exploratory part of the planning process, for tax reasons.
MO: I don't believe in tax.
What? Really? Where do you think 20% of your wage -packet goes, when I pay you for these little Q&A sessions?
MO: I always assumed that went to the government.
Yeah... that's what tax is, Michael. Money that goes to the government.
MO: Really? Oh, I believe in that, then. What's the thing called, where there's this man behind a big desk, with a henchman and hench-lady, and he tells all these arrogant idiots that they're fired, once a week?
You're thinking of The Apprentice, Mike.
MO: That's it. I don't believe in The Apprentice.
What's the next question?
MO: How's the book blog going?
Fine. It's really fun, actually. I've noticed a trend... I'm buying and reading short books, which means it doesn't take as much time out of my week as it could. But I have some very long books on my list, so if I keep cherry-picking the short ones, I'll be left with only the 500+ page epics by next year. Which is (doctor friends tell me) the prime (possibly only) source of actual madness.
It's what the professionals call an Epic Timebomb, and a pretty big one. Imagine something between the Obesity Timebomb and the Pensions Timebomb in terms of size.
So these last few days, I've been tucking in to one of the real big boys of my book list, though it's a fairly easy-to-read one.
MO: It's good that you've spotted this trend early on, when you still have time to work to avoid it.
I'm glad you approve. I'd like to introduce you to another challenge, while we're here.
MO: Another one? Greedy. Some people in Africa only have a solitary Two Day Challenge, for their whole life, and here's you hankering after a third Ten Year Challenge! Think on.
I'm not sure that's true, actually. Anyway, the new challenge is more of a FYSIC. That's a Five Year Self Improvement Challenge, see? Clever stuff from the young Carroll, right there.
The FYSIC is this: move out of home. Right now, I live with my parents. I get on really well with them, and it's a cool house, and financially it's the knees of the bee: but it's still living at home, and it's not really where I want to be.
Unfortunately, a big thing I'm aiming towards in the whole 'get published' goal will, if successful, make moving out completely implausible for the next couple of years. We shall see.