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It’s one of those things I keep meaning to do, and then, you know, 10 months go by… In my defense, right after I wrote that last post (possibly the next day), I was offered a full-time job! As in canyoucomeinforaninterviewonfridaygreatwelikeyoucanyoustartonmonday?, and I feel like I’ve spent most of the rest of the year trying to catch up with myself…

So, this year has, in great part, been about learning to balance time: writing and working full-time. I still haven’t totally figured it out, but this is my ideal process:

  • The night before, I think about what I’m going to work on in the morning: have a goal for a scene, or something. I don’t promise myself I’ll write x number of words because that just seems to be an invitation to myself to produce bollocks, but I’ll try and get a complete scene done (or at least end in a place from which I can continue said scene). I have to have an idea of what I’m going to be working on because on weekdays I have like 1.5 hours a day max at the moment (I have to be out the door by 8, so getting up at 5:45 is ideal (I don’t always manage this, mind you, but I try — see below)), and I have to make it count.
  • Go to bed as early as I can get away with. Get up early. Use the strongest self-persuasion I have to. I tell myself that if Terry Fox could run across the country on one leg, I can get up and get my ass in a chair. One day away from the project is a slip in momentum, and it’s disaster thereafter.
  • For the love of dog, do not open yer internet browser or email.
  • Outlining? The verdict’s in: I need to do it, at least once I’m past the first draft. I need planning like mad — Excel spreadsheets! A giant drawing of the shape of my novel (it’s mountain-shaped — surprise!), with character trajectories and sub-plots and and and! Printouts of all my advisor’s words of wisdom, with bits highlighted! If I carry these around with me (except the giant drawing), their mojo seeps into me somehow.

What else is new this year so far? Hmm…

Well, I haven’t looked at the gargantuan novel since that last post. Never did enter the Amazon contest. Next year?

I did the “advanced” side of screenwriting with at UBC this summer. I tried my hand at outlining a full-length feature, without a whole lot of success, but it was a GREAT class; so much learned. Jesus, I’m going to miss these people. I’ll be the alumnus who drifts back year after year…

Mountain Novel has turned into my thesis novel, and I’ve been at that since September (had to hand in a full draft of the novel at the beginning of Sept). It’s going…well, I think! Surprisingly well! I’m enjoying the process! I’ve had excellent notes back from my amazing advisor and I’m really so damn lucky, basically. Of course she hasn’t read all the way to the end yet 😀

And there you go. I do intend to be back in here before another 10 months is up!