Jason Gurley

By day, I'm a user experience designer; by evenings/weekends, I write novels from my home in Scappoose, Ore. My newest is Awake in the World, published February 2019 by Roaring Brook Press; my previous novel, Eleanor, was published by Crown in 2016 and has since been translated into German, Portuguese, and Turkish. I’m currently working on a new project.

Writing, or not writing

My pile of notebooks—the ones for the next book project—have sat basically untouched on my desk for the past couple of weeks. Oh, I've opened them and jotted a few things here or there, but I haven't given them my time, not really. 

At the moment I'm not really writing, and that's...well, that's okay. It's okay to instead come home from work each day and immediately scoop up Squish and say, "What are we doing tonight?" and then spend the whole evening scribbling in our notebooks together, or playing games of catch in the living room, or watching movies or reading. It's okay to let Felicia whisk me away downtown to a hat shop, for the first time in my life, to buy a hat that doesn't have a bill, that isn't adjustable. It's okay to spend hours ordering pencils online. 

As I said before, I am, at the moment, between deadlines. I'm waiting for a letter from my editor, outlining all the things that need to be repaired or surgeried about my current project; I haven't truly begun the next adult fiction project. There's literally nothing compelling me to write, and that's okay. It's a temporary thing. 

But even if it weren't, that would be okay, too, wouldn't it? One of my favorite singer/songwriters is a Canadian artist named Kathleen Edwards. I discovered her debut album, Failer, back in 200...3? 2003-ish. I've been listening to her steadily ever since. But a few years ago she left music behind, opened a coffee shop called Quitters, and seems to live a very contented life raising dogs and running a small business. She doesn't owe me, or anybody else, her art. That's true of all of us. (Unless you're under contract, in which case you have a few more loops to loosen before you can say the same.) 

So I'm not writing, for a little while, and it's okay

Balance and permission

Life among the notebooks