The Not-Sabbatical

or how I found (and lost) my way to what I thought was unoccupied space.

Around this time last year I loudly proclaimed to the world I was taking time off to write. What possessed me to do this, I don’t know. (Actually I do – I desperately wanted time to write, with no distractions, no pressure etc etc.) What I mean was, I still had four books in the pipeline to finish for eMergent and at least one of those still required editing.

I didn’t get dedicated time off to write. I did however write ELYORA in that time and it forced me to make time around my editing and publishing duties. It was an almost sabbatical with none of the real fun stuff.


An entire year later I find myself back here at sabbatical, but this is the real deal. All the eMergent books are published and the ones scheduled for later this year will basically take care of themselves until October/November and then need only a little input from me.

I took on nothing new because I wanted time to write, but I was also aware that things on the home front were very uncertain. Throughout November Mr D was at home and unable to get back to school. I reasoned I could probably weave a writing sabbatical with any big changes that might involve him not returning to school. Anything beyond writing, that involved me being responsible to others, would be impossible.

And it has come to pass.

Last week we withdrew Mr D from formal schooling and began the process of enrolling him in distance education. While the curriculum will be provided and he will have a teacher, I will still be needed as support staff. It also means having him home weekdays.


It’s not a prospect I’m relishing. I’m working hard to find the silver lining here, to let my mind create freedom not a lock down mentality. The fanciful notion of long days writing in a café and filling up on movies and TV, are gone. It doesn’t mean its time to give up all together though.

I already have three short stories in the pipeline and six interconnected novellas in my birthpunk world slated for completion this year. I have another seven novellas in a historical sci-fi world. There’s a stand-alone novella I’m keen to write based on the short story ‘Cocaine, My Sweetheart’. Plus there will be new ideas for shorts flitting in and out like dragonflies over a cool creek in the middle of summer.

I have always written better under adversity. And this is a new kind of deadline. A new kind of pressure. A new chance to rise to the occasion and find I not only can, but thrive.

It’s not forever, but it is for now. And I need to make the best of it for both of us.

Day One

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. ~ Henry Ford

  • Slept in and tried to recoup some of the better feelings from Mothers Day, pushed aside by teaching and emotional meltdowns from small people when I got home. This included not getting up when I should have, putting my flowers in a proper vase, going out for breakfast an buying an ereader (welcome to the digital revolution – finally!)
  • Decided it was the first day of sabbatical around mid-afternoon and thought about writing something. That something became a blog post about the weekend’s workshop written just before midnight. The fiction stuff had to wait.
  • Changed all my profile pictures – like I was shrugging off the other and reclaiming a new version of me.
  • Went out for a walk (this along with wine and baths are my new sanity measures).

Today’s song – from Kate Miller-Heidke, Brisbane songstress extraordinaire.

Less than productive beginning, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.