My blog has been pretty silent for a while. It is not that I do not have anything to say, it’s just that I have been doing some formal writing this past fall and winter. I even got paid for it! And well, the iron-clad agreement I had to sign prohibits me from talking about for whom I worked and what I wrote. It will be published soon and a few items might even have my name tacked on to them. Or, they might not…

It was definitely different writing than blogging. Here, I just write like how I talk. My editing process is minimal.

This writing involved deadlines and a bit of pressure to get pieces done by certain times. It was a challenging brain puzzle that required fitting different pieces together just right and to create something from there. I had to write in a few different, but challenging voices. Often, it meant getting up and writing early in the morning, while everyone slept. As well, it often meant cracking my laptop open at 8pm when I was completely exhausted from a teaching day. At times, it meant whole days of sitting at the dining room table on weekends and writing. Our social life was not really hopping due to Covid, so it was a great passion project that kept me busy.

My work was vetted by teams of people with various perspectives and areas of expertise. They would offer me written feedback and I then had to incorporate that feedback into my stuff (is that vague enough?). Sometimes that was hard. Particularly if I did not agree with a change. Or if I was given conflicting feedback by different groups. But more often than not, the feedback that was given to me helped to elevate what I had written.

It was also neat to connect with other educators working on the same thing. I met some really amazing people (virtually). Some had more experience in this type of writing and offered great advice and exemplars to work from. Our work had to align and look similar and we were given frameworks and fonts to use. I had two great supervisors that were great listeners and who were able to get me going again if I was slowing down or needing direction or clarification. It meant a great deal of teamwork, which I enjoyed.

And well, I did finally end up feeling a bit burnt out. Since January, I feel like I have been a Teacher-Librarian 3-4 days a week and otherwise, I have been filling in for “fail to fill” or unfilled supply jobs about 1-3 times per week in my school as teachers and their family members have been ill with Covid. I think this will be happening more often in the weeks ahead.

There came a point when the work that was left to do was no longer falling in line with my values and I decided to leave the project. But only once the majority of the work was done. I did not leave anyone in a lurch, in fact, I was replaced within half an hour!

It is nice to have some “free” time again. I am back to reading for pleasure and getting some exercise. Our social life is a bit more active as we start seeing friends we have not seen outside of some porch visits.

I look forward to seeing the final product (will my part be in it at all?). I hope so! I would feel so proud. A quiet pride where I could look at it and be like … Hey! I wrote that! – with hardly anyone else knowing.

I used the money that I earned from the project to buy myself an electric bike. It arrives soon. But that is a blog for another day…

I hope to write small pieces more often this Spring. Stay tuned.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash