So here comes Turkeyday, and I am hopelessly unprepared. Hypothetically, this is not a problem — since I have formally refused to do any cooking whatsoever over this particular holiday. Aric and I will be part of a local “Orphan’s Ball” for some folks like ourselves with no family nearby, but we’re still not 100% clear on whether we’ll be (a). hosting the shindig, (b). cooking for the shindig or (c). hosting the shindig and doing some of the cooking. At any rate, there will surely be cooking; but since Aric is (let’s be honest) a much better cook than I am … I’m leaving the grub in his capable hands. Hey, he volunteered.
Not that this has anything to do with writing.
It doesn’t. Not at all.
It’s just what’s going on in my head right now, here at work, where I’m sort of between projects at the moment. Trying to look busy. You know how it is.
But speaking of writing — since this is my “writing” blog and whatnot, I guess* — I haven’t been doing any of that lately, God knows, and it drives me nuts. My part time day job eats up full time hours more often than not, and it’s eating the kind of hours that leech my sanity and leave me completely bereft of creative energy. It’s difficult to compose great works of trashy horror fiction when you’ve spent the week writing hundreds of 2-3 sentence blurbs for shoes. Trust me. I am now qualified to speak on this point.
This having been said, in many respects this job is ideal. It’s near home, it pays well (especially for a part timer), it’s flexible, and it’s staffed by perfectly nice people who I genuinely like. Heck, back when I first started looking for a day job, I made a wishlist … and this place has got it all. I feel like a jackass for complaining about it.
But at the end of the day, it’s a day job that eats up all that great writing time I’d been enjoying since we moved out here to Seattle. And it’s not like I wasn’t using that time or anything. Hell, since I arrived around the first of May, I’ve written almost the entirety of Not Flesh Nor Feathers (approx. 100,000 words), the entirety of Dreadful Skin (approx. 60,000 words), half a dozen short stories (let’s say 25,000 words), proposals for a couple other projects (now sold to Tor), and almost 15,000 words on a young adult project … and all of that before I got this job and accidentally quit writing fiction 6 weeks ago.
Now that I look back on this list, it seems a bit unambitious. A lot of the other working writers I know put out twice this volume in the same time (and furthermore, sell it). I suppose I could start making excuses now about getting married and moving across the country, but the end results are the only measure of success here, so there’s really no point to any whining about how hard I tried. Yoda would backhand me into the swamp. “Do or do not do, there is no try.”
Maybe after the holidays I can get myself in gear again. Maybe once I settle into more of a routine with the day job, I’ll find the balance. Maybe I should remind myself once in awhile that I started writing Four and Twenty Blackbirds while I was a full-time graduate student working 3 part time jobs … and somehow that got done, didn’t it?
I must be getting slow in my old age.
* As opposed to my blog of daily pointlessness.