I spend much of my work time looking at a computer screen — writing lessons, updating grades, and reading student work submitted online.
Then, for the course I’m taking, I read online articles or type reflective summaries for the books I must read. I contribute to online discussion boards.
I think this is one reason why it’s so hard to write in my free time. It’s not that the ideas aren’t there. I keep a running list of topics for blog posts. And Bernadette, the main character in my novel, is always in the back of my mind somewhere. But when I have time to think about writing, some days I just don’t want to haul out the laptop one more time. I’d rather read a book — one with real pages! Or play my ukulele.
And yet, I write much more fluidly on a computer than I do by hand. I can type faster than I can write longhand, and it’s both easier to read and easier to edit, especially when it comes to the novel because so much is already written. So I’m often torn.
Plus, there are no deadlines. I have time frames for getting my lessons planned and the kids’ grades updated. I have due dates for my coursework. But there is no deadline for blog posts or for my novel. And that’s kind of nice because I don’t have to feel stressed about it. But it kind of stinks because sometimes I think I’d be more motivated if I had a deadline.
My neighbor is considering starting up a monthly community newsletter. She mentioned that maybe she could have me write a short piece of fiction for each issue. That made me panic just a little, but then I thought it might be good for me. We’ll see if it happens.
In the meantime, if it’s a long time between blog posts, or if you’re wondering how the novel is coming, just know that the words are in my brain. Sometimes my fingers itch to get them out. But my eyes need a break from the screen.