I’m one of those people who think September should be New Year’s. Blame the public school system. I want to buy a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, grab a marble composition book, and start learning something in September.
I wake up in the morning, and the sunrise is glorious over the tall green stalks of corn next door. I take out the dog, and there’s a crisp bite in the air. The grass is still wet with dew, but it’s cold dew, whispering that frost is not too far away. The trees are still rich green, but speckled with bright spots of gold and orange and red. It’s the promise of fall, the expectation of fall, and we all know that expectation is often as good, if not better, than the experience itself.
I’m feeling good about September. August was a tumble of activity, a reaction to July, a hurried, caught-off-guard launch into a new and very different school year for the kids. It was punctuated by a blessed rest in the middle, when Chris and I went on vacation. It was also my lowest word count month this year, at only about 6000 words total, between the next Belle Starr, and two short stories. But that’s okay. It’s still 6000 more words than I probably did last August.
So now we’re in September, and things are starting to find their pattern. I secretly love routine. I have to change the routine fairly often because I get bored, or parts of it aren’t working. But that doesn’t mean I don’t actually love having a routine. My mind is always running a million different directions and if I have a routine to tell me what I am supposed to be doing right now, I at least know my body’s in the right place. More or less.
I’ve spent a lot of time this first five days of September pondering where I’m going with this whole writing thing. That’s probably a post all of its own. But I will say that I started it to see if I was a writer or not. I needed to figure out if I really loved the pursuit of writing fiction, or if writing a book/getting published was just one of those bucket list things I wanted to say I’d done before I died.
At this point, I can say I’ve written a novel. I can say I’ve been published by a small press. I’ve received a royalty payment for my fiction. I can even say I was on the best-seller list on Amazon for my genre (twice, actually.) So, if it were about bucket lists and life goals and things I can say I did at my next high school reunion (assuming we still have those in the age of Facebook), I’d be off the hook. Mission accomplished.
But I don’t feel like my mission is anywhere near accomplished. I love writing. Writing keeps me sane. Writing speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction, weirdly enough keeps me remarkably grounded in reality. It makes me appreciate my real life in a new way. I love writing, and I don’t have any intention of stopping.
I do have a plan for what I’m going to do next, after my “book a month” challenge is over. (What? You thought I’d quit because I missed May and August? This thing is not about perfection. It’s about effort. We press on.)
But I’m not saying what that next thing is just yet. It’s a secret, just between me and September. 😉