Blog Post No. 403
As you probably know, I’ve been home from the Day Job since early March. There are a lot of people in similar situations, and to be honest, it hasn’t been too bad for me. With Employment Insurance and the Emergency Benefits, I’m not really losing much money. (Some months may have even been better than what I sometimes get since the Day Job fluctuates so much). With the various stages of opening (for better or worse) across the province where I live, some folks have been going back to work, and many more are scheduled to when my area hits the third stage and schools open. As for me, I’ve been officially informed that my Day Job won’t be reopening until 2021.
I’m kind of torn about how I feel. I don’t mind working. My job has distinct ups and downs, but for the most part, it’s not bad. The act of getting up and going to work, following a schedule, and interacting with folks has benefits, too. Ultimately, I want to eschew all Day Jobs entirely and write full time, so this has been a nice taste of that (minus the ability to meet with friends and go out to places to write). I’ve loved not working these last five months and I’ve been doing well writing every day, especially since I’v been working on the next novella, Break/Interrupt. I do miss the routine and change of pace, though.
I’ve been writing with the assumption that I’ll get called back to work with potentially little notice and have to keep up the progress as much as possible while getting used to going back. I wanted to get the first draft of the Invasion Novel done before I went back. Then, more recently, I wanted to get the novella written before the day job comes calling. Now, I know I’m not likely to work for four more months, so I’m starting to think about what more I could be doing.
My daily writing goals are to get over a thousand words minimum. Sometimes that takes me an hour, sometimes it’s four (when I’m really distracted and procrastinating). Some days I struggle to get to a thousand word, some (like near the end of the novel) I crush it and end up with 2500. (Usually not that high, but more often it’s 1200 or so). Once a week I do this blog, and some days I have video chats with friends or other writers, or I have long email chains to pick away at, but for the most part, as long as I get that thousand words written, I call it a day. Sure, there are chores to do around the house (and I could be more diligent with some of them) but other than jobs like mowing the lawn that take a good hour or so, the majority of my day is spent watching stuff, playing games, or reading.
I’ve thought of this time as a productive break, or a work vacation. I got some writing done and I’ve been able to relax. I think I have a right to relax, but now that I have a more clear timeline, I think I should increase the workload. It’s something I’ve been thinking about, especially since it’s been easier to write the novella so far. There is plenty for me to do, but I think the next thing I should take care of is to finally get my novellas out as ebooks. I’ve spent a ton of time in that sinkhole, but I’ve also been doing it the hard way.
I have some basic cleanup to do on Thinking Machine, just fixing some typos, not changing anything. Then I’m going to find an easy conversion tool and then go over the final files in a program that I have that should allow me to make some of the basic changes that are necessary (to me) like indenting the first line of paragraphs (but not the first paragraph in a chapter). Check your books. Most of them will be formatted that way.
So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m writing my thousand words minimum (for Break/Interrupt right now) and I’m going to finish going over the last edit I got for Thinking Machine. Eventually the writing will give way to editing and the editing of Thinking Machine will turn into ebook-ing. Hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll have the novella ready (or close to ready) for printing far ahead of time, I’ll have the Invasion Novel through several drafts, I’ll have all the Synthetic Albatross books as ebooks, and other things I haven’t decided on yet. I don’t want to plan or promise too much (that’s another easy trap to fall into) but it’s time to kick it into another gear.