An update for August, my first sabbatical month.
With August coming to an end I thought I would release another writing update. Being temporarily unemployed (which I prefer to think of as a short sabbatical), this is the first month in forever (aka. 2000-ish) where I have had nothing but time to write. So you would think that I would have written tons of stuff, particularly when I’ve had this ongoing crazy notion that I should someday get paid for writing.
Alas not so much.
Being unemployed isn’t as easy as you might think. First there is the problem of maintaining some kind of schedule. For me, this is fairly important, because I tend to flop around like a fish out of water if I don’t have a routine. I still have to eat, sleep, and occasionally take a shower, but without the structural certainty of a 9-to-5 job, I tend to forget about things like that while I’m focused on whatever I happen to be focused on.
I have to devote some time toward a backup plan in case someone doesn’t walk up and hand me ten million dollars. I have a finite amount of money, and it will run out one day, and I need a plan to deal with that, no matter how annoying the prospect might be. So I spend a portion of most days looking for boring old 9-to-5 jobs. And it takes a surprising amount of time to sift through a bunch of web sites.
I also spend time looking for part-time or freelance work that I can do from home, which would serve to extend the length of my sabbatical from 9-to-5 work. This also takes a surprising amount of time combing through web sites, sending emails, sending applications, setting up profiles, etc.
I also have to build in some non-working down time. When you work from home, it is very easy to fall into a trap of working all the time. I’ve already experienced this in August. I’ll be busily tapping away at my keyboard, lost in what I’m doing, and then I’ll notice that my eyes are tired and my back hurts and it’s 10:00 at night. So I try not to do anything that uses creative energy before 8 am or after 6 pm. (He says, writing this paragraph at 6:41 pm.)
Despite all that, I’ve done some writing this month.
I sort-of wrapped up what was going to be my July novel Moving Day. I really like the first ~4000 words that I wrote at the beginning of July, and I like the final ~3000-word sort-of climax that I just wrote. The problem is that there is nothing in between the two. I suspect this story is destined to become a short story at or below 10,000 words. I just need to figure out some way to connect the beginning to the ending.
I wrote and continue to revise a series of non-fiction “re-watch” articles for the television show Continuum, which is currently my favorite genre show. As of now it is somewhere close to 15,000 words of material covering the first season, including screenshots. I sent a query to Tor.com to see if they were interested in publishing it, but so far I haven’t heard anything back, which makes me think they aren’t interested. It was a terribly-written query upon reflection. Or maybe they’re just more into Under The Dome than real science fiction. Zing!
I have written a handful of blog posts here and elsewhere, of which this is one.
I’ve done a bit of work revising my Kubak Outpost manuscript, which I personally think is my strongest manuscript to date. Or at least it’s the one that I keep returning to think about. My revisions are focused on cutting down the number of points of view from five or six to two or three.