Take Back September – Part 2 (and Day 1 recap)

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Let’s continue.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m channelling my inner James Joyce this month.

Cue the TAKE BACK SEPTEMBER campaign.

Honestly, September has always been one of my favourite months.

I use to love going back to school. It always meant brand new clothes and brand new binders and pencils and pens. It was so exciting!

More than that though, it was a clean slate. It was a chance to start fresh and an opportunity to absorb an entire new year of life. Because during your younger school years, school is life. You may hate it at times, but it’s where your social life is, and when you’re in high school, your social life is LIFE.

And September was always my clearest month. It was the time that everything remained organized and in order. It was the brief time before the chaos and clutter of the rest of the school year came swooping in like a tornado, leaving behind a pile of crap for you to deal with.

So, for the next 30 days I’ve got a lot of projects I want to wrap up, including a series of short stories I want to share, an anecdotal series offering tips for young writers/journalists and a continuous storyline on this blog. I feel like that’s what made my Volume 1 entries a success and drew people back every morning. So, lots to do.

There’s also a couple other reasons I’m going ahead with this workload, and it’s something I hinted about in a recent post.

Both are absolutely amazing, and both involve my lovely girlfriend M.

First, on September 30, the final day of this campaign, I will be flying off to Jamaica for a week in the sun. It’s going to be our second BIG trip together (you all remember the last one!) and we’ve been counting it down from like the 70-day mark so, yeah, we’re pretty excited.

However, what’s going to come after that trip is perhaps even more exciting.

M and I have been together for over a year and a half now, and I couldn’t be happier with her in my life. She has the uncanny ability of balancing out this manic desire inside me to do nothing but work. She’s the most relaxed woman I’ve ever met, and I feel instantly calmer and happier when she’s beside me.

So, with that preamble, we’ve decided to move in together.

M has recently landed a new job in downtown Toronto working with lovely cats and dogs at an vet hospital, so we’re making the jump.

I’ll say this though, it wasn’t easy.

The process of hunting for an apartment, applying, giving landlords everything but your kitchen sink in order to try and be accepted into a building, only to be denied. It’s awful. My friend (who lives down there now) described the process as “ruthless”. A great word and the perfect description of the process.

Well, after quite the saga, M and I landed an apartment we are absolutely thrilled with. It’s in a 100-year old building, in a beautiful neighbourhood, and a perfect little spot for us to call home. M, knowing the perfect doorway into my heart, pointed out the fact that the place has eastern facing windows. As you all know, I have quite the affinity for writing before the sun comes up.

With that said, I want to absolutely CRUSH everyday of this month in anticipation for the big changes that are coming at the end.

I know that when things start to shift, it’s going to take some time to get back into the normal swing of things.

However, change is good, and I couldn’t be more fu$#%ing excited.

So today was a full day in the office, and with the long weekend, it means double time. Double the workload in the same amount of days, just because the office is closed Monday, and generally, normal people try and take a little bit of extra time to relax.

I had a lot to get done.

I started the morning in bed, with coffee and my laptop, surpassing the 20,000 word mark on my latest fiction project. *Cue blast of confetti and cheers*.

With that behind me, I headed to the office for a morning of transcribing interviews.

You see, my short-hand is terrible. I CAN NOT write fast to save my own life. So that means I rely on a recorder for most of my interviews and then listen to them back afterwards and pull out the juicy quotes. I admit, it’s time consuming, especially for longer interviews. However, it’s more accurate and less stressful, so for those reasons, it’s a winner for me.

I had about five interviews on the record still to be transcribed, one of them nearly an hour long (it’s for a feature story I’m SUPER excited about), and a couple others for basic news stories this week.

So, with that out of the way, all the while juggling a few phone calls and emails to set up further interviews. I turned to writing and churnched out four pieces for this weeks paper.

After a brief pizza lunch, I set to starting the design for this week’s front page and laying out the ads throughout the paper. When the clock hit 6:30 p.m. I still didn’t have all my writing done, but M was home from work and I had barely seen her all week, so I dropped what I was doing and headed her way.

I’ll have a bit more work to do tomorrow (Saturday), but I’ve got an assignment that I can hopefully follow-up with a couple solid hours of writing and some more layout before M gets off work. I LOVE taking a bit of time to work on Saturdays. You feel like you’re getting a head start on the competition while everyone else is just sitting around. It’s one of the main reasons I love getting up early in the morning.

But, when M does get off work, we’re meeting up back in Oshawa before heading to Kitchener to see my family!

Should be good!

All in all, I would say that Take Back September – Day 1, was a marvellous success.

Let’s keep the ball rolling.

Until tomorrow, thanks for reading!

J.J.W.