This week's Tungsten Hippo post is about my recent experiment with audiobooks, and the surprising (to me) reason that I'm not a big fan of them.
I originally did not think I'd write a Tungsten Hippo post this weekend. I was mentally exhausted from a rough week at work, and didn't have an idea for a topic in mind. But then our emerging Sunday morning routine kicked in. Mr. Snarky went out for a run, and I made myself a pot of tea, brought my laptop to the dining room table, and sat down to write. The kids are most likely to play well together in the mornings, and generally prefer the adults to let them be, so Sunday morning is a great time for me to do something that requires a little bit of concentration, but not too much- I'm still required to come help the kids with things from time to time.
All of this makes Sunday morning an ideal time for me to write. I didn't think of it as a routine until this week, though. As I cracked open my laptop, I heard Pumpkin and Petunia getting set up to write in Pumpkin's room. Pumpkin soon called me in to remind her how to save her file, and Petunia was sitting at an improvised desk, typing on her toy computer. I showed Pumpkin what she needed to know, and went back to the dining room. After a short time poking around on my various social media accounts, the idea for the Tungsten Hippo post came to me, and I wrote the post, with just a few more interruptions from the other room.
I had fun writing that post. The mental fog from my week at work lifted a bit while I wrote, and I felt much happier when it was done that I had felt when I sat down at my laptop. I need to remember that next time I think I'm too worn down from the work week to write a post.
Last night, Petunia was not in any hurry whatsoever to get into the bath, so Pumpkin and I had a bit of time to chat while I waited for Petunia. I'm not sure why, but we ended up talking about how some people do more than one job. I used the example of how I have a "main" job, but also write books and people buy them, so you could consider writing to be a second job, and how I have a website and how running a website is a job for some people. (In typing this, I realize that I completely missed a good chance to talk about how some people work more than one job to make enough money, and how different that is from what I do... Doh. I will try to do better next time.)
Pumpkin was a bit surprised to find out that people actually pay for my books. I'm choosing to put that down to her imperfect understanding of how the adult world functions and not a statement about her opinion of the quality of my work. To be honest, I don't think it had occurred to her before that people get paid to write things. I explained why my latest book isn't out yet (it is with the illustrator). And then I told her about the new story I am working on. I told her that I had finally figured out the full details for the premise, and I explained the point at which I am currently stuck and how I am working on getting unstuck.
She thought about all of this for awhile, and asked me if anyone could publish a book. I told her that anyone could write a book, but that then publishers get to decide which ones they think are good enough to publish. I told her that nowadays, though, anyone could publish a book on their own, too, so that if you really believed in your book, you could publish it on your own, without a publisher.
She thought about that for awhile, and then told me that since you could be a writer and something else, she thought she'd change her career plans, and she'd be a writer as well as a teacher (her stated career goal for the last year).
I told her I thought she'd be good at that.
I think she thought some more about the subject overnight, because at morning snack this morning, she told me she was going to illustrate her books, too. She'd be a teacher, and a writer, and an illustrator.
I think she'd be good at that, too. I love watching her horizons about what she might do in life expand. I wonder how long it will be before she realizes she could create websites and write code, too? It isn't that I want her to go on to create websites or write code, or anything specific, really. I just love watching someone in that time in life where pretty much anything is possible, and most things are equally possible.
So many of my own career-related thoughts these days are bounded by the constraints of my life, as I've built it up over the years. Those constraints are often of my own making, but they are still there, and real. For Pumpkin, though, there are no constraints yet. It is wonderful to watch her realize this.