Summer should carry a warning label–Caution! That sense of lots of time to get everything done isn’t true! Every year, I start summer with a massive ToDo list, and by August, my good intentions have folded in on themselves like a black hole. I’m going to be more practical this summer.
In my life, I wear two hats–tech teacher and fiction writer. With a lot of coffee, a moderate amount of aspirin, and good luck (which I’ll settle for in the absence of miracles), I see no reason I can’t do both. Here’s my list of my top seven summer goals:
I’m part of a team teaching two online classes in June and July–using online tools and keyboarding in the classroom. Each is three weeks long with lots of online materials, video presentations, and interaction. I’m excited about these and looking forward to being involved.
Sound like it has nothing to do with writing? Wrong. I spend a lot of time preparing materials, making sure they’re clear, editing/formatting and rewriting to make them appropriate to my audience and goals. Is that familiar? It should be. It’s what authors constantly do. Every time I write, I practice writing. Was I clear? Concise? Did I engage my audience? Did I make them want more? I never throw words out there that haven’t been vetted. It has to do with my credibility and my platform as a writer.
First, I need to edit an update of a current non-fiction book, prepare it for Fall publishing deadline. I’m not writing from scratch, but I am adding a student workbook as a companion. I’ve never done that before so have no idea how that will go. Hmm…
Second, I’m finishing up a mid-level draft of my fiction mss, To Hunt a Sub. I got a lot of ideas from my workshop with Richard Bausch that have made a big difference in the book. I’m much happier with it and feel with a few more run-throughs, it will be ready to send around. I was hoping for June, but I think it’ll end up August. Or September. Definitely this summer.
Along with First and Second, I write 3-6 posts each week for each of my four blogs, approximately an article a week for ezines I write for, and miscellaneous writing that comes my way.
If you aren’t familiar with TpT, and you’re a teacher, click the link and visit. There is a wealth of classroom resources sold by people just like you (if you’re a teacher and a writer). I need to look over my TpT store, make sure everything is current, crisp, presentable, then update as needed.
I’ll be attending their first-ever conference, in Las Vegas in July, with a girlfriend. We’re driving over which suits me fine–I love road trips. I hope to learn lots about marketing, products that sell, and how to improve my store.
I’m sad that my CSG class has ended, permanently. I was teaching online classes weekly through this innovative venture, but for a variety of reasons, the group will not be continuing. Anyone need an online teacher?
Also known as ‘webinars’, I have started attending as many as I can, as much to educate myself as learn how they run. GoToMeeting is a popular format. Attendees sit at their computers wherever they are and watch what is usually a slideshow presentation, post questions that are answered in an orderly fashion when time allows, microphones muted automatically by the presenter. Me, I like interaction among participants–as you get in a Google Hangout–but I understand why those teaching the class want to limit interruptions. We’ve all been in a class where one person monopolized it with questions no one cared about. All of the webinars I have attended so far are from this ‘sage on the stage’ model, one schools are trying to get away from (aiming for ‘guide on the side’ instead). I find it intriguing that these adult classes fall back to a more traditional approach. I don’t see it as bad or good, just interesting.
I continue to force myself to move as much as possible to paper-free and working remotely. This goes beyond using the Starbuck’s Wifi (which I don’t–too unsafe). I want to be comfortable being productive in both writing and teaching from wherever I end up. For example, I have a Google Hangout scheduled during one of my out-of-town conferences. There’s no reason I can’t run the Hangout from the hotel room or the conference center’s lobby. The only reason is ‘I’ve never done it that way before’. Yikes!
I need to clean up my blogs–re categorize posts, fix broken links, that sort. It’s been on my ToDo list for a long time and I never seem to get that far. I’m hopeful this time I will.
There you have it. As I re-read it, I’m already wondering… But I’m a writer. I don’t intimidate easily, so let’s talk again in September. In case you agree with my mother that I do too much, check out my efriend Mishka Jenkins over at Harliqueen. She’d have my entire list completed in a month, or less.
What are your summer plans?
More on summer writing:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she writes technology training books for how to integrate tech in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.