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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Are We There Yet?

by Lisa Bullard

WRT_27KeyboardMy Texas grand­par­ents  usu­al­ly made the long dri­ve to Min­neso­ta. But the sum­mer I was thir­teen, my par­ents piled me, my two younger broth­ers, and a bor­rowed boy cousin into the old sta­tion wag­on and head­ed us south.

I escaped into the far back, prop­ping myself up on suit­cas­es and read­ing a thou­sand-page-long Civ­il War nov­el called House Divid­ed. The boy’s con­stant bick­er­ing added a back­drop of bat­tle­ground sound effects.

Did I men­tion how often we had to turn around and go back some­where to retrieve my cousin’s for­got­ten retain­er?

Are we there yet?” That ques­tion comes out on every long dri­ve. There’s point where we just want to be DONE with all the trav­el­ing. It’s the same with a writ­ing road trip. There’s at least one moment dur­ing every one of my writ­ing projects when I think: I’m done. This has to be good enough. The prob­lem is, I’m often nowhere near my des­ti­na­tion  when this hap­pens.

To be a writer over the long haul, you have to get back on the road and keep writ­ing despite those moments.  But it helps enor­mous­ly to change things up somehow—I might alter my writ­ing loca­tion by going to a coffee shop, or turn on music (usu­al­ly  I’m a non-music writer).

Stu­dents have this same “I’m done” response after they’ve worked on a long project for a while. One of the most effec­tive ways I’ve found to gen­er­ate a new burst of enthu­si­asm in them is to let them switch from writ­ing long­hand to key­board­ing. Sign up for the com­put­er lab, or let stu­dents take turns on a class­room com­put­er. This sim­ple change always fuels new writ­ing ener­gy.

Even on the longest trip, the answer to “Are we there yet?” is even­tu­al­ly, “Yes! We final­ly made it!”

 

One Response to Are We There Yet?

  1. Kolby November 30, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    I agree that hav­ing worked on some long home­work assign­ments gets frus­trat­ing, and I catch myself say­ing, “Am I done yet”. I look for­ward to try­ing some of your ideas. They look very inter­est­ing. My sis­ter and I have start­ed writ­ing our own short sto­ries, they are com­ing along.

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