There is now a provisional absolute end date for this year of full time writing – Monday, September 1st. Last week I met up with my soon-to-be line manager for a coffee and to discuss various bits and bobs like start dates, and as far as we can see that’s the likeliest. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been impossible to develop a routine around childcare, home improvements, and knowing that the freelance experiment had a definite expiry date. In lots of ways it felt as though there wasn’t much point trying to gear up again, just to quickly wind back down. Once I get started in the new job though, a new routine of some sort will follow. I can’t pretend to relish the prospect of squeezing writing in around the edges of other stuff again, but needs must. At least my days will have some sort of shape to them.
Assuming that all goes well and I have my feet back under my dayjobberydesk at the start of next month, this gives me 19 days (including today) to clear down everything I have on my plate. September is a new start (again), and I don’t want any of the bigger projects from the last year lingering as I move into it.
Today was about clearing space, ready to go. My study-to-be has been crammed full of boxes since we moved in, but I’ve finally got rid of them. The contents? About 500 books, mostly genre fiction. About £4000 worth of purchases, by my guess. Stuff from the mass market, stuff from independent presses in the US and UK…
The photo above is some of those boxes piled in the back room of an Oxfam in Clarkston. It’s just become a premier stockist of international genre fiction from the last twenty years, though I don’t think the charming older ladies who took possession quite realise it. If you’re in the area and like genre stuff then it will definitely be worth visiting the store in a couple of weeks, when they’ve had time to process everything.
It’s odd, getting rid of all this stuff. I’m only doing it because I’ve nowhere to put them all, and decided that it was probably easier to get rid of all of them than some. As a hardened bibliophile, these books are sort of a roadmap of my last couple of decades. Shedding them really is like casting off some sort of skin. Liberating, in quite a brutal, hollowing sort of way. If you’re also a bibliophile you’ll get that.
It’s done now, so I’m ready to go. Eighteen days left to clear the decks, then onto new things.To my surprise, I know what some of those might be, and how I’ll be playing this whole writing business from here on in.
I might tell you some of that tomorrow. I’ll have a clean slate to scribble on soon. I just need to grab me some chalk and get to it.