Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Splintered Books Project

The sunset was gorgeous tonight

The Goal:
To finish a picture book, a chapter book, and a novel by December 23, 2010 and submit them to a publisher. Each project has its own unique challenges, not the least of which is actually reaching the end after the beginning has been written.

The Writer:
A sad, sap of a guy. Douglas Cootey is a married, full-time dad raising four girls in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah who has long ago overcome his aversion to the color Pink. Until this point, Douglas has blogged about overcoming AD/HD & Depression with humor & pluck, but now he wonders if there is something else out there for him—something more noble than telling the world how he forgot to put his pants on one day when stepping outside. Can he set a goal, give himself an entire year to meet it, and remember to stay on track?

The Obstacles:
Samson had his hair; Achilles, his heel. Douglas has ten weaknesses. They form an evil pantheon of nemeses and thwart his every attempt to do simple things. Douglas has written about them before, but never mastered them. Each item will need to be vanquished in order to meet the Goal.

  1. Multi-Iron Syndrome: This is a terrible ADHD fueled malady where Douglas is compelled to start new projects before finishing old ones.
  2. Choosing ONE thing to work on: Related to ADHD issues with boredom, working on one project is difficult to do when Douglas' attention wanders off once things become dull.
  3. Distractions: Interesting things all around are as kryptonite to the ADHD mind.
  4. Info Addiction: Douglas is a hardcore news junky. It's bad. Intervention may be necessary.
  5. Family Life: Often forgotten about when making schedules, the random & chaotic demands of family will prove to be the greatest distraction.
  6. Insomnia: Tired brains have no juice for activities such as organizing, working, and creating. If Douglas isn't in a life & death struggle with his CPAP, he's wired and awake instead of sleeping.
  7. Focus Myopia: Once Douglas was peddling his bike madly to catch up with his friends. So intent was he on watching his feet peddle faster and faster that he rode right into a car. It's a metaphor for his life.
  8. Problems Prioritizing: Choosing the right problem to focus on can be daunting. The mind boggles with the myriad possibilities. This usually leads to "Look! Shiny!"
  9. Depression: Sometimes Douglas is sad for no reason at all. This problem isn't as disruptive as it once was, but still it sneaks up on him like a Warm Wet Blanket of Doom in the night. Sometimes triggered by failure as well as success, this comorbid condition is a time eater. A wary eye must be kept alert at all times.
  10. Chronic Motor Tic Disorder: This wonderful side-effect from taking Desoxyn 17 years ago can distract, disrupt, and destroy any productive effort. Upside? Flailing arms and vocal tics are useful for entertaining Neanderthals and small children.

353 days. 11 months and 19 days. The gauntlet has been thrown. Will Douglas rise to the challenge or will his contest against mental health become a mental Hell?