I have wanted to go on “book leave” ever since I first learned of the concept, discovering an unknown guest contributor occupying the place of a regular columnist on the New York Times’ op-ed page, during my first year of university.
I failed to understand why a writer charged with producing a couple of five to eight hundred word “hey, how about that?” / “get off my lawn” ruminations a week couldn't manage a book project at the same time but, then again, this was a simpler time -- a time before blogging married into journalism and such entitlements went unquestioned. I had yet to decide which writing-related career path I wanted to pursue (first, anyway) at that point but I was absolutely certain that I wanted it to include book leave.
In March 2012, two weeks after I submitted a revised thesis proposal with designs on graduating in August, a friend invited me to join his book-length project as a co-author. I really wanted to graduate but obviously I couldn’t refuse. Everything else would have to wait; I would have to go on book leave.
We published Canadian Political Structure and Public Administration (4th edition) in January. It’s my first book. I couldn’t be more pleased or prouder.
I’m set to finish my thesis in August of this year. No harm done. And book leave was everything I thought it would be.
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Dear just-before-lunch fall term civics class of 2001: I not only finished every bit of class work a full half hour before any of you but I've now officially lapped you spectacularly.