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200th Day of Writing!
Today is my 200th day of writing my book!
I use timeanddate.com to calculate how many days ahead the next set of 100 will be and exclude weekends and holidays. Having a specific date helps put things into perspective and creates milestones. Since this is my first time writing outside of being in school as a student or professor, it feels weird to not have any time markers like semesters. I like measures of time passing and I like goal lines. The next 100th day will be June 28, 2022. That’s a good date, the end of the month that’s halfway through the year. I’m going to set my goal for that right now….but where am I now?
As the end of 2021 got closer, I realized I wouldn’t make my goal of having a complete draft of the book by the end of the year because I hadn’t written about how to actually produce every vowel and consonant sound. That may seem like the only thing I would be writing about since I’m writing about American English pronunciation, right? Actually, there’s so much more involved with “accent modification” or just continuing to improve speaking skills that I almost forgot to go into detail about the actual sounds. So I moved the complete draft goal line to the end of March because that would be a complete year from when I started writing. I’m on target to meet that goal, kinda. I now think I have more I want to add in the first half of the book. I’m going to make including that section my 300th day goal, by end of June 2022.
I had more fun than I expected writing about consonants in December and vowels in January. February is all about the connections and sound changes between and within words and that’s what I enjoy most so I’m looking forward to it. Today, I read what I had written so far in the Connections chapter and it was interesting to read it now after so much time has passed and I don’t remember writing it. It reminded me of why I enjoy teaching and helping people practice how different casual speech sounds from what written English looks like. The leap from written form to spoken form is huge, then the leap from speaking like it looks to speaking the way people actually sound is much bigger.
The whole point of this book was to write about what I found missing in so many other books, the rationale behind teaching and doing things in a specific order. At first, writing about how to pronounce individual sounds seemed like it would be boring and I’d just be repeating what is already so easy to find, but I also organized that in the way I did all the other features, taking into account cognitive load and processing.
Tomorrow, I’ll start on the second half of the Connections chapter which is the application of concepts to practice. I have a lot of pieces already in place, but not completed. I’m confident I can complete it by the end of February and begin on that last piece I want to go back and add to complete by June 28th. I’m still enjoying it. I wonder how I’ll feel at day 300.