Keeping Up the Momentum

Allow me to paint a picture of my last couple of days.

Imagine taking possession of your new apartment, basking in the glow of brand-new carpeting and fresh paint. You move your things in with the help of a few friends, have a few laughs, and then prepare to set up as quickly and painlessly as possible. Then this happens:

  • Your air conditioning refuses to turn on, and since you can’t get your super’s assistance, you spend a restless, stuffy night in the heat (and get awoken bright and early, since your curtains aren’t up yet)
  • After work, you set about a quick wash of your dishes so you can make your first meal in the new apartment. The piping under your sink bursts, spilling water across your kitchen floor. You learn that a rubber fitting has cracked in several places, and can’t be fixed until tomorrow. No more dishes for you.
  • Thankfully, your dinner was already prepared and just needs to go in the oven – except that, for some bizarre electrical reason, the oven doesn’t work, and also can’t be fixed until tomorrow.
  • Feeling a bit … nonplussed, you set about putting the curtains up in the bedroom, only to realize that doing so requires both a hammer drill (which you don’t have) and the technical expertise to use a hammer drill (which you really don’t have).

It should probably be noted that I didn’t move into a student-ghetto deathtrap. I’m living in a well-maintained, professional building downtown. And while the issue with the curtains is the result of my lack of know-how, the rest of it was worrisome enough that when my Rogers technician suggested someone was casting the Evil Eye my way and that I go pick up a talisman to protect myself, I actually took him seriously.

Throw in the usual amount of work that comes with moving into a new place, and you can see that the last few days have been busy. Since I lucked into a sweet LTO teaching position for this semester, I also have to plan out my courses and start prepping materials. With all of this going on, the thought of adding writing to my days just made me feel more tired.

But I’ll be doing it anyway. And here’s why. On my way back to Ottawa on Monday, I was catching up on Planet X Podcast, which is hosted by writers Jay Odjick, Marie Bilodeau, and Ken Bonnie. In Episode 11, they broke from their usual program (which is awesome, and I highly recommend) to answer some questions about writing practice. During this discussion, I heard probably the best self-motivational speech for a writer, which Jay related from his time developing the television series Kagagi (content warning) “Are you a fucking writer? Yeah? Then fucking write. Quit fucking crying, quit fucking bitching, get in there … get on that keyboard and write, mother fucker.”

Damn right.

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I’m hoping to maintain the momentum I built up in August and produce a lot of writing in September. The catch is that I’m considerably busier than I was in August. But so what? I’m a writer, so I’d better be getting writing done. I’m smart enough to recognize that trying to churn out 1000 words a day this week might not be a reasonable goal, but that doesn’t mean I should be getting nothing accomplished. Yesterday I queried a few editors who I’m waiting for responses from. Today I’ll be submitting some new work, and editing one of my ongoing projects. Tomorrow I’ll do some word creation – probably just a few hundred words. And I’ll keep the ball rolling from there.

Why? Because I’m a fucking writer.

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