The Glamorous Life of the (Unpublished) Writer

Today began nicely. Woke my daughter up, finding a new way to gently break through her desire to not get up. Took her to school, then came home, looked at the clutter of the kitchen and living room, and said “This will not do.”

Four hours later I had a clean kitchen and living room. Then I sat down and wrote until it was time to get my daughter. Once she was home, I cleaned the master bathroom (only called such because it’s in the “master bedroom” area; it’s exactly the same size as the other bathroom–smalled, even, as the other one has a tub and this one just has a shower stall. But I digress…), and then sat down to write again.

Then I made her dinner, then helped my wife put her to bed, and then began writing again. At the end of the day, I had 1,853 new words, bringing the total for the book so far to 60,122. I finished the heroes’ daring raid on an Imperial Intelligence data store and their subsequent seat-of-their-pants escape, including the hero nearly falling off the top of his hovering starship to his death (starships are not running surfaces, especially fifteen stories above the ground). That means I’ve got between 30K and 40K words left to write. Only three chapters (I write long chapters)!

My daughter usually only goes to summer camp at her school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But tomorrow is the last “water play day” at summer school, with the promise of an ice cream party and a kid’s movie, and she really wants to have fun with her friends. So I’m sending her. And since I did all the cleaning today, tomorrow is going to be six hours of nothing but writing. Well, four hours of writing, and some reading, most likely, but we’ll see how it goes.

Next week I go back to work. My curriculum is ready, and all I need to do now is get the classroom set up and print up my syllabi, then prepare for Back to School Night later in September.

And now? Now I’m tired, so I’m going to go read (I’m nearly done with Peter F. Hamilton’s The Great North Road; it’s great by the way) until I am ready to sleep.

Published by Michael R. Johnston

Father of an eighth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Fifty years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA

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