Friday, April 4, 2014

Wait. Most People Write and Read EVERY Day?

By Art Taylor

This week's question—"If you lost the ability to write or read for a day, what would you do?"—stumped me a little. In the midst of a heavy teaching schedule at Mason and with a toddler dominating so much of the rest of my time, there are already many days—long stretches of them, in fact—when I'm not able to write anything on whatever personal project is currently at hand. (Comments on student essays, responses to endless emails, the never-ending grocery list—these things I can't escape writing... and that's the central reason why "Write FIRST!" on my electronic to-do list has been overdue since March 26.) And while reading does fill my days as well, much of that reading consists of those emails clogging the inbox and that student work piling up on Blackboard and then some batch of texts I've assigned to my students (and thus assigned to myself too, of course). And oh, how I would relish a day without any of that kind of reading and writing! ...though I'll admit that I'd miss reading many of my son Dash's favorite books, a special part of every afternoon and evening. 

Short answer then: If I fully lost the ability to read or write at all, I'd spend even more time doing what we already do with a lot of our free time now. Tara, Dash and I would be outside at the playground or inside with his growing fleet of Hot Wheels cars. We'd try out new recipes—and then enjoy eating them! And there would certainly be occasional breaks for Curious George, especially since there wouldn't be any books standing between us and Netflix. 

I can't take every reader here outside to the slides or down to the playroom with those cars, and I can't deliver the last batch of blueberry muffins Dash helped me to mix, but just to give you a taste of life here in no-reading/no-writing land....


Susan C Shea said...

My son, a book editor with ambitions to write a dystopian YA series, is in somewhat the same boat. I can empathize and only say what I say to him: Keep writing in your head so that when you get 30 minutes of peace, you're ready!

Art Taylor said...

So true, Susan. My wife and I both have realized that mental writing like that is as important as time actually in front of the computer.