This is the week were I’ve had to contact people I love and have difficult (though sometimes less difficult, because so many of the people I love are awesome and also quite human) conversations about schedules. Mostly, how the schedules we made in the past were great in theory but in fact fell prey to the Planning Fallacy. (In brief, the Planning Fallacy says that you’ll never naturally make provision for as much as you need – you’ll always err on the side of optimism, but the chances of you living out a reality that optimistic is actually not so great. To avoid the Planning Fallacy, do one of two things. Either, think about the last time you did such a task/endeavor: how much time/money/resources did it take then? That’s a good way to estimate this time. If you haven’t ever done it before, consider what you minimally need in terms of time/money/resources… and quadruple it. Or so. It’s like the marketing idea of under promising and over delivering, which VistaPrint works on. For a much more colorful illustration of this, I recommend Less Wrong’s rewrite of Harry Potter, entitled Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality – which is just a hoot, regardless of the Planning Fallacy.)
And I’ve done this, for instance, in part of my writing schedule. Rachel has already blogged on this topic, but in summary, the series I’m writing with her – many, many lovely wonderful novels wherein she writes one and I write the next, but we intensely collaborate on shared characters and building plot – yeah, that’s not going to see the light of day for many, many moons now. We’ll continue to work on it, of course, but it’s likely that the first two novels will see the light of day, and settle in your hot little hands no sooner than 2015. Admittedly, that will give us time to make them just as amazing as they can possibly be. Which is awesome. But we had hoped for much sooner. Which is less awesome.
And my writing schedule in terms of what I’m working on solo also needs to be reconfigured, along with many other things. And it’s true that I’ve fallen prey to the Planning Fallacy, but it’s also true that because of this reconfiguration, other necessary and wonderful things will have time to occur. Like working with my buddy Liz on becoming app developers. Like slowly but surely posting the long-awaited conclusion to my megafic, DESS. Like taking care of my health by attending the gym with my husband. Like connecting with loved ones a little more often. Like finding a sustainable income, as expenses have increased in this new year, and some longer-term contracts have ended.
And you know, for the first time in a long time of change, transition and liminal places (really since my mother’s death in December of 2008), I have almost no fear. I’d be lying if I admitted to none at all, because every now and again I go there. But, you know, I completely trust that the doors that have closed needed to close. And I completely trust that the way forward will clarify just in the moment that it needs to. I completely trust that, as usual, God’s way forward for me is sooo much better than I could have dreamed, planned or anticipated on my own.
Which, admittedly, is the sort of reasoning that got me into this life to begin with. I might as well run with it, and enjoy the scenery.