For well over a month, I've been pretty obscure when people have asked how my work has been going. "Pretty well," is pretty much what I've tended to say. But I have been working on something other than some freelance assignments and consulting work as I continue my leave from the CBC newsroom in St. John's. I spent much of the first couple of months since July working with and for my wife, who is self-employed and runs a consulting company here in St. John's.
But for much of my time since early September, I've been working on a book. A novel, to be precise. I've actually been telling this to people now for a couple of weeks, when they've asked what I'm up to, so I figured I might as well put it out there more broadly.
Right now, I'm deep into it, and I got to the point several weeks ago where I figured that I can actually pull this off. It means having a lot less time for paid work, which certainly has its implications, but I look at it this way: I may never get an opportunity like this again.
I told my family about the project a few weeks ago, and got a wonderful response, and have been talking about the project with a few good friends, whose support has been invaluable. I'm being diligent, and have been treating this like work. I show up every morning at my laptop, and write according to a schedule. I've been writing not so much in my home office, but instead in a very comfortable chair in the living room (that's it, in the picture above, with my Macbook).
I'm not revealing what the book is about. I learned that a long time ago from friends who are writers. I'll say this much: it's contemporary, it's set in St. John's, and I'm making most of it up. You know that saying, "Write what you know"? While strands of that apply in my case, I'm finding it much more exciting to write about what I don't know. (There are, at least as of now, zero journalists in the story.)
So there it is. I still have a lot of research to do, and quite a lot of writing. I'm hoping to have a decent draft done by the time I finish my leave, in four months' time. What happens after that (like, say, getting it published) is likely a whole other battle.
But for now, I'm here in my chair, dreaming up a story I hope other people will want to read.