With my grades for the Summer-I Session at WMU turned in at the end of June, I have completed my teaching duties until January 2010. Technically that makes me unemployed. Unofficially, though, since I had arranged for no classes during Summer-II (July-August) anyway, having everyone in the Physics Dept. decide they want to teach during Fall gives me an opportunity. Mrs. Dr. Phil is just finishing a six-month sabbatical and goes back to work on Monday 6 July 2009. It makes sense then, for me to declare this next six months that:
Dr. Phil will be on sabbatical from July to December 2009 -- and will use the time to write and complete a couple of SF novels.
Moving into 2010 then, I can continue submitting shorter works, but also begin sending off manuscripts to book publishers and agents, trying to line up one of each.
A Novel Approach
I've actually been seriously writing SF novels and short stories since October 1990, but only submitting anything to markets since June 2002 and those have all been novellas and shorter. A couple of times I've blocked out part of the summer, usually Summer-II (July-August) to "get a novel done", but things come up. In 2007 we had a lot of projects to do around the house. In 2008 I had to prepare for and then decompress from the WOTF workshop. During the 2008-09 academic year I was teaching full-time, and between that and my sinuses productivity fell and my record keeping files have been in a little disarray. Funny how time gets away from you. Six months? Much more conducive to getting the job done.
So There You Have It
While technically not a sabbatical, and an unpaid one at that, it does seem the perfect time to do it. Just how worth it would it be to try to scare up a couple of months of working in this economy? By calling it my sabbatical, I can concentrate on my writing and hopefully move onto the next stage of my writing career. I've already accomplished a good deal of work in the first couple of days. (grin)
Indeed, I'll be shortly announcing my next big project... in the next post.