Are You Still Writing? Or What?

Hey guys.

There is a list on here of things I mean to write about, and guess what? While I am still working, finals week is over, so I have a wee bit of breathing space. So I thought I would sort of talk less of lists and weight, and more about writing.

I haven’t been writing a lot lately. I put in some time each week, but I’ve been putting in so much at the day job, there hasn’t been a lot of umph to spare. Plus Icon and Disney. See my writing excuses. Since I’m no longer pretending to be a machine, I’m cool. That was a time in my life that I couldn’t write much, but as Kleon says, my whole life is a work of art. So neener, neener. Also, I have no deadlines or agents. Free irresponsibility! Rock on!

That said, I see December as a time to write. It is the 13th, and I just put the semester to bed. I have to do some things to prep for the next semester, but it’s not gonna be like it was. The Man (TM) and I have very little planned for the holiday, so there will be writing to be had.

And I have two goals. The first is to finally get the novella I started some time ago out the door. Easily done. It’s mostly tweeking. Some cutting and some additions, but not out of the scope of a few short days. Then, we continue working on the first Klarion novel. The first act I’ve spent a lot of time on, because everything falls out of that, but it would be my fondest wish to have the whole thing roughed by the end of January, and the project done by the end of June. And this I think is doable.


Next year, I am writing the Jim Hines’s way. Jim writes for fewer hours a week than I do, and he is more productive. So my plan is to take an hour and fifteen minutes out of my work day each day, sneak up to the quiet floor of the library, and hammer out words. I’m hoping that the continuity will mean I have shorter start up times each day. I also hope that this more disciplined approach will get me into an automatic approach to writing. Of course, that means I will only be writing at work for about six hours a week, and to keep up with my Gladstone goal, I hope to write for another six hours a week. That means I’ll have to find a little evening time and a little weekend time too.


And speaking of my Outliers 10,00 hours, I’m not quite done logging them for the year. I expect to be about 120 hours short of making my 624. Well, too much traveling this year, and not enough staying home and writing, I fear. The good news is that we’re filling the well with experiences that I hope help with the writing.


What’s out there right now? Just a couple of things.

O-Taga-San is with the Kaleidoscope anthology.
Whatever I re-title The Were-humans, it will be on its way to Paper Golem.
Abigail Rath Versus Blood Sucking Fiends is still at 5 agents, but I believe she has about reached the end of her door knocking, and will be put back on the work desk for a future time.

So. Feeling productive. If I could get A Lasting Storm out and about for next year and start on The Poison of thy Flesh, there would be no complaints here.

I also need to tease Manuel’s story out of the troll novel. It would be a good short piece to send somewhere. The troll novel just needs an overhaul, but that’ll stay in the queue until the right time.


Publish or not, I’m writing, and that’s the most important thing. The school paper is doing a feature on all of us Kirkwood writers (some 30 of us publish, write, or illustrate), so there’s that.

Happy writing to you all over the holidays. I hope you get loads done. No. Wait. That’s way too type A. How’s about: I hope you have a season of great joy? Yeah. That works.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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