One of the very few positives about being unemployed is the tremendous amount of free time you have.
It’s an advantageous position to be in, as a writer, because you can fill all of that free time with the activities that you need to do in order to improve– reading, writing and a whole lot of thinking. Since SUNY Oswego gave me a harsh shove towards the working world this past May, armed with nothing but a piece of paper that says “Bachelor’s of Arts” and a green and yellow tassel, it’s felt like those writerly duties are all I’ve been doing. I’m a few chapters into my first novel right now and, after weeks of slowly torturing words out onto a Word document, I feel like I finally have a grasp on where the story is heading. So technically, since I am trying to turn this writing shtick into a career, I’ve been hard at work. But, of course, none of this is paying the bills yet.
One of the many negatives about being unemployed is the tremendous amount of free time you have.
I have a set schedule. Sort of. My sleep cycle is constantly out of whack because there’s no need to set an alarm for anything, so I just go to bed when I’m tired and I wake up whenever my body feels like it. One week I’m nocturnal, the next I’m closer to a normal, human, pattern.
So the hours of the day don’t factor into my schedule much, but I have fallen into a pattern. Whenever I happen to wake up, I mosey down the stairs, laptop in hand, and put on a pot of coffee. While it brews I fire up the computer to check my e-mail and twitter account and anything else that I can occupy myself that requires little-to-no focus.
When the coffee is finished brewing I down a few servings and, perhaps, read a few news stories while my brain gradually begins to warm up. Once my eyelids give up resisting consciousness and I get focused, it’s time to write.
And that’s what I do for awhile. Sometimes I write for an hour, sometimes much longer. I go until I feel myself starting to burn out and then I call it quits. Usually this process only produces around 500 words a sitting. Anything more than that and I’m thrilled. If I happen to lose track of my word count until I’ve managed around 1,000 then it will almost certainly be the high point of my day.
I hope you’re beginning to see why I went with “Adventures of an Unemployed Author” as a title. It’s sarcasm– a language I consider myself fluent in.
Although it feels like I’m on the cusp of breaking into a strange new world, the journey is a personal one and my chronicling of it probably won’t be of much interest to outsiders. Or maybe it will, I don’t know. The point is, I’m not writing this for any audience. This blog is purely for my own edification. It’s a place to vent, to spout off, to ejaculate my intellectual concerns into the universe in the hope that simply putting the words out there will help to assuage them.
So, on the off chance that people stumble onto this, I make no promises to interesting, or even coherent content. I can’t say for sure what my ramblings will cover from day to day but I can make a few guesses.
Things likely to be covered are:
Writing– I will discuss how my novel is coming along. I will discuss any concerns I have about it. I will not post any excerpts from it. I have no idea whether my book will be a good one at this point but I’m not about to risk putting my work out there for anyone to read until I find someone who wants to publish it and maybe (just maybe) pay me for the right to do so.
Books– I will discuss books written by other people. Usually people much better at writing than I am.
Politics– Although I’ll attempt to resist as much as I can, if this is going to be a venting space, then politics will surely come up. Taking an interest in how our government functions is probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to me and I find myself more disgusted with it every day. I tend to lean left-wing but I strive to be pragmatic when judging issues and I avoid ideology like the plague.
Religion– I’m an atheist. And now it’s likely that some people will see that and think, “Hey, didn’t he just say he wants to avoid ideology? What a tool!” But of course, while the word does end in -ism, atheism does not imply any sort of belief system. Atheism is, simply, the lack of belief in any gods. Someone makes a positive claim that god exists and an atheist just doesn’t believe him. It’s about as ideological as not believing in Santa Claus.
I’m sure there will be other things I haven’t listed as well but I’m beginning to burn out. Until next time.