Used to be my typical writing day was actually a full day: when I was working part-time at the bookstore (BMV) or the coffee shops (Bridgehead, Union Street) or when I went back to College (Algonquin), I had one day a week (usually a Tuesday or Wednesday) where I had a day off, what I called “Jordan’s Day Off” (JDO), and I could wake up early, eat a banana, make a coffee in my rocket red Bodum french press, read for a bit, go for some fresh air (FA) by going for a bike ride, eat some breakfast, make another coffee, put on a record on the stereo, and then settle in for some leisurely writing at whatever pace I wanted, taking frequent breaks, and then, after a few of these JDOs, have a short story all ready to go.
Now’s different. I’ve been working full-time for the last nine months, and there was a big adjustment for awhile in terms of how I’d get to do my writing without JDOs but now I’ve settled into some kind of writing routine for me but also something that’s not really a day. Most of it happens on my lunch break. I’ll take a notebook and a coffee with me to Westboro Beach or Maplelawn (pictured) or McKellar Park or whatever but most of the time I’m at Equator Coffee and I can usually get down a few hundred new words or review the few hundred from the day before in between sips and checking about cycling issues on twitter. So my writing happens in segments.
This change has changed the types of things I write. I used to write pretty short short stories, considering that on a really good day I’d be able to write a story from start to finish. Now, considering I write in 30-40 minute chunks, I’m writing longer short stories in small pieces and it takes me about a month or two to finish one. This is good and I enjoy it.
Jordan Moffatt lives in Ottawa. His first collection of short stories will be published in fall 2018 by Bad Books.