Fall Forward (Back Down in the Word Mines)

Since about the middle of August, it’s been really sinking in that that Labour Day is imminent, and with it, the fall.

I was feeling that really keenly around the 15th. It was unseasonably cool and really felt like autumn, the Ex — which, if you’re from Toronto, is the real sign of the end of summer approaching — was opening, and the Hugo Awards were coming up that weekend.

Okay, the last isn’t a typical sign of the change of the season, but it was relevant to me. All together, it served as a reminder of how much I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine — to the kids going back to school, to their sleep cycles getting back into balance, to being able to exercise and write as close to every day as I can manage.

With all that running through my head, I went to Twitter, and I made a vow:

The Ex opens this weekend, and that, as every Torontonian knows, heralds the End of Summer. It’s time to buckle down and finish this novel.

Realistically, with the amount of story left to tell, I won’t be done by the end of summer. But I can plan my work, set a deadline.

Thursday, September 18. That’s the goal I’m setting for myself. That’s the deadline for Draft Zero of the Work In Progress

I know that Thursday, September 18 looks like a bit of an odd choice, but I went with it for very specific reasons. I have a family commitment on September 19 and over the rest of that weekend, and I’d like my novel to be done before then.

Anyway, Twitter vow. I don’t believe that I’d be held to it in a court of law, but it’s real enough to me. Of course, it’s not like making that vow made my children any more prone to sleeping through the night; since I swore my mighty oath, I #amNOTwriting, much. I certainly haven’t managed to add a single word to the novel.

I’m… not okay with that, exactly. I would have loved to have had lots of free time to write and write and write, but I’m not surprised or upset that it didn’t happen. And I managed to make some progress — finally — on my next Ulysses blog post, which, yes, I keep promising and which continues to not materialize. It will, eventually.

More on-point, my friend and Xeno’s Arrow co-creator Greg Beettam and I were able to make the time to get our heads together regarding a creative endeavour that’s been in the works for some time — but which we’re not quite ready to announce, yet, so more on that anon.

So where does that leave me?

With some words to write. I’m looking ahead, to Tuesday, September 2 — the day after Labour Day. Back-to-School Day. That’s when I expect to be able to get back on track. I hope, and more importantly, I plan, to make the most of that time and really go to town on finishing the novel. Anything words I manage to eke out before then will mean that my word count goal between September 2 and 18 is even more achievable.

It’s not quite a NaNoWriMo-level commitment, and Idiosyncratic Personal Novel-Finishing Seventeen-Day Period really, really doesn’t have the same ring to it anyway.

(IdioPerNoFiSeDaPer? No. Just… just no.)

It’ll be a challenge, but deadlines generally are. I’m ready to get down to it. I’ll keep you posted on my progress down in the word mines. Watch this space, Twitter, or both for updates.

Labour Day is imminent. It’s time to fall forward.

COMING UP NEXT: Breaking In interviews with Aurora-award-winning writer Suzanne Church and New York Times-bestselling graphic novelist Jim Ottaviani. And yes, Ulysses. Eventually.

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2 thoughts on “Fall Forward (Back Down in the Word Mines)

  1. Oi, the strike is still going on? Ugh, that must be awful for everyone. Sorry to hear it.

    As it happens, my union’s in a legal strike position right now too, so it’s possible that I’ll be out on the picket line in September myself. Which, seriously, would still be better for us than the teachers being on strike and the kids not able to go back to school.

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