100 Days or Less
"I think you have such a fascination with the concept of the apocalypse because, subconsciously, you feel stifled by society and your role within it."
It was a comment made to me by my friend Monte. Maybe not those exact words but the meaning behind them is the same. He said this to me a couple of weeks back and it has been on my mind, off and on, ever since. I've thought about this and wandered through my brain, looking to see if he summed up this aspect of me in a single simple sentence with a complex meaning.
Essentially, I believe he did. I have been working (or looking for a job) nonstop since I was 16. Even while in college, I never worked less than 20 hours a week. I have worked for other people for almost 20 years. I have followed society's rules about working and being 'responsible' or, if I wasn't working, I was feeling guilty and looking for work. It is no wonder that, when stressed, I turn to the fantastical concept of an immediate, overwhelming change that forces people into roles they never thought possible. More importantly, it forces people out of roles they never thought they could escape.
This leads me to an interesting question. Once I start my Writing Year, will I still be attracted by the concept of the Apocalypse? After all, I will be working for myself or specifically on contract fiction writing that I choose to work on. I probably will still have my fascination but it is still food for thought. I am stepping away from the rat race and following my own desires. Maybe I won't consider the destruction of the world as we know it as excellent stress relief any more. Maybe I will. Maybe it's too much a part of me now.
Of course, I'm pondering vague thoughts of shifting to becoming a contract Tech Writer when I come back to the rat race. Then again, maybe I'll just stick to contract QA work when I come back. Maybe I won't come back at all. Maybe this Writing Year will become a Writing Career. I don't know. We'll see.
In other news, I have reached the 100 day mark on my countdown counter. I have 100 days or less until my Writing Year begins. I have marked the end of 2006 as the Old Ending and the New Beginning date. In truth, I know it will be less by 30 (or so) days or more by up to 60 days. Really, it depends on when we get this product out the door (scheduled for the end of November) and whether or not my boss asks me to stay on and lead this product's SDK effort (scheduled to ship mid-February). I know he knows I am anxious to start my Writing Year, so I don't think I'll be asked to do the SDK. We'll see.
So, in less than 100 days, I will be on my own for the first time in my life. Really on my own. I will be my own boss. That is a damn scary idea. If I fritter away my year, it will be my fault and my fault alone. I work well to deadlines - especially deadlines for other people. I like making other people happy. I may have to set up goals that include me delivering stuff to other people by certain dates. Heck, I'm going to have to do that if I'm going to deliver my set goals for the year of 2 novels (one YA, one not) and 24 short stories in and around the freelance work and conventions.
It is scary but I'm no longer scared by this whole prospect. I am excited and anxious to begin. I keep thinking how much more I would be able to get done if writing were my main focus. After the book, I have prospects for contracts with three established companies as well as the ambitious idea of submitting a Shadowrun trilogy proposal to FanPro. Can't hurt to ask. All they can do is tell me "No." and I'm getting over my fear of that. I have to be doing something right. My career seems to be moving onward and upward.
100 days or less. I can't wait to begin!
Tarot Card for the Day: The Chariot, Inverted
I've finished Draft Zero of my Castlemourn mini-project. I'm over, of course. But, I think I'm going to polish it tonight and send it in four days early anyway. Maybe they'll have me do more and I'm procrastinating. I don't want to start the final run on my TEoP Kendrick series because I know a bunch of people are going to die.