300th Day of Writing
Finished! Not Finished!
This week's newsletter is a bit late because I didn't want to stop writing until I reached my real stopping point. In my last writing milestone update, I thought my 300th day would be June 28th! The website Time and Date that I use to calculate time between dates tells me that yesterday was actually my 322nd day of writing but I was so close to finishing a real complete draft at day 300 that I didn’t want to stop. I can finally say that I don’t have anything lingering in the back of my mind that I want to get on paper. Not right now, but I’m sure something will pop up later. It’s been a weird feeling to reach this point after working on it almost every day since I started the outline on March 22, 2021. My writing program, Scrivener, shows me that I’ve written 161,838 words.
Time and Date also broke down the duration like this:
I’m not sure what to do with the massive amount of writing that I’ve done. I don’t know anything about publishing and this really needs audio since it’s all about speech, so should it be a book at all? An e-book? A website? I’ve started making it into online courses, but I’d also like to see it all together in one place and not just chopped into separate courses. It has two distinct halves, the first half being the research, theory, and method of accent modification and the second half being all the application of the method in examples and practice.
Who I Wrote To/For
I really see it as three different topics that could stand alone on their own because I wrote this to specific people as I wrote.
Myself in grad school
I wrote to the me in grad school who was always looking for information about accent modification and couldn’t find it. I put together parts of speech-language pathology, teaching English as a second language, cognitive psychology, and habit building to create a much more all-encompassing view of speech than anything I could find in grad school.
What it is
1. What is Speech?
2. Myth Busting
3. Who chooses accent modification
4. The Speech Habit
Teachers I've worked with
I wrote to the teachers I’ve worked with over the years who were interested in learning more about how to teach it and find materials to use. I never had one book that I could use that met my purposes. As I used parts of different books to meet my needs, I always said that someday I’d make my own book that had everything I wanted in it.
How it’s done - Teaching/Coaching
2. Evaluation & Reflection
4. Tracking Progress
Everyone I've taught
I wrote to the students and clients I’ve worked with who always asked “why?” and wanted to learn more than just what a practice exercise provided. It's not difficult to find materials for the how to do it for spoken English, but when someone wanted to know why it was never in the same book so that’s what I put all in the same place. Sometimes I thought it was too much detail, that it was turning into a phonetics text book and drifting away from teaching essentials. However, my clients and regular attendees in my Meetups ask me very detailed questions that I never used to get from students so I know they will appreciate it. I went with the plan that it's better to put it all out there and then cut it back or let people choose how much they want rather than hold back and regret not doing it all at once.
What to do - Lessons
2. Word Stress
6. Applying All Speech Features
On to the Next Project
In my 200th writing milestone update, I wondered how I’d feel at the 300th milestone and it’s not what I expected. I do feel done with something, but I know it’s not the end. I’ll be filling that daily writing time in my schedule with writing the online courses and updating my materials but that’s different. I’m not creating the words, I’m cutting and pasting and connecting them together. I feel a little sad about the creative part being finished, kind of lost without it. Maybe I’ll find the course-making process more creative than I have in the little that I’ve started so far. I haven’t focused on it until now.
No matter what happens or never happens with the 161,838 words I’ve written, it feels awesome to get them out of my head. I don't know how long I've said I wanted to write my own book and I finally did it. It's still a weird feeling, not the jumping up and down excited feeling you might imagine. Maybe after a year and a half of writing I'm just exhausted and it doesn't seem real yet. I'll keep you posted.