Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Where Do We Even Start?

Jen and I decided to move forward with writing a couple of sample chapters to send in with our outline for a formal book proposal.  We want to send in the first chapter and a typical "middle chapter."  So, we're each sitting down to draft one, then we'll swap, add, and edit.  Even a mere six thousand words into the project, I've already learned so much.  

I've learned that I write better in the morning.  I write better on the couch in my office than at my desk.  I have to have a mug of tea -- and there's a whole ritual to that.  I think I do all these weird little obsessive things just to get myself psyched up to sit down for about four hours straight and write.  I have to talk out loud when I write, and I almost always gesture with my hands.  I want the book to feel like we're having a conversation. So I have a conversation with an imaginary colleague while writing.  

I have also learned that Google Drive is a godsend.  Jen and I have organized the entire book in a shared folder, with a subfolder for chapters, research, saved chats, and vignettes that we want to use but we're not sure where.  I have now completed a draft of Chapter 5 on extending audience.  My favorite part about Google Drive so far is that Jen and I have these exhaustive side conversations debating everything from word choice to pedagogy.  I'm being stretched as a teacher, and am loving every second of it.  We have had three Google Hangouts so far this week to check in on the writing process. The video chat feature is particularly awesome since we live in different parts of California.  Although, I think Jen's youngest son is more enamored with the Google Effects in the hangout video than I am.  Whenever he pops in to say hi, I click to put on the pirate hat and patch (are you proud, Dave Burgess?).   Anyway, who said writing couldn't be fun and collaborative?