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. Thanks to all of your suggestions from about a month ago, I’m going to be more practical this summer.
In my life, I wear two hats–tech teacher and 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 are my top four summer goals:
I’m teaching four online classes in June and July–using online tools, the Tech-infused Teacher, the Differentiated Teacher, and an online keyboarding immersion class. Each is three-five weeks long with lots of online materials, video presentations, and interaction. At the end, you get either college credit or a certificate. 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.
I’m finishing up my fiction mss, To Hunt a Sub. By July, I hope to send it out to agents. When (if) that doesn’t work, by August/September, I’ll self-pub. Before that can be done, I’ll find a copy editor to check my grammar/spelling, get someone talented to design my cover, and probably get help uploading it to Kindle.
When the mss is finished, I’ll work on a series of non-fiction I write about technology in education. I want to get twelve books done by January. I’ve done two. Hmm…
Along with these writing activities, I write 3-6 posts each week for each of my three blogs, approximately an article a week for ezines I write for, and miscellaneous writing that comes my way.
I’m not going to any physical conferences this summer, instead, relying on webinars. Here, all attendees sit at their computers wherever they are and watch what is usually a slideshow presentation. We can post questions that are answered in an orderly fashion. Microphones are muted automatically by the presenter. Me, I like interactive participation, but I understand this more passive approach. It limits interruptions and allows more people to attend (GHOs top out at about 10).
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 when I’ll sleep, pet the dog and smell the flowers. 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, you might notice that last year, the list included seven goals–now I’m only aiming for four. And, check out my efriend Medeia Sharif. 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 the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, adjunct professor of technology in education, 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. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.