Why do blog posts seem to take so long to write?  I sit down, promising Mr. Apron, “it’ll only be a quick one”, and, an hour-and-a-half later, I click Publish.  Mr. Apron says it’s because I care about my writing.  I don’t just post an awkward family photo from 1989 or a YouTube video I and sixteen million people have seen, or a Twitter-like blurb about my commute.  I don’t know if it’s that I care about my writing so much; it’s just that I want to write.  I want to get my thoughts out, or to tell a story I’ve had brewing in my head. I’m also long-winded.  This is part and parcel of being a speech therapist.  When I prepare an IEP with my coworkers, I’m asked to write-up “my piece” on the child’s Present Levels, his performance in speechie things at that time.  It answers the parent-friendly question on the IEP: “What is the child doing now?”  Well, I am routinely told by the teachers for whom I prepare these reports that I write way too much, that it doesn’t fit in the alloted space, etc.  So now, as I hand off my novella on Susie, I hedge, “I wrote too much.  Take what you want.  Trash the rest.”  And they too.  I”d just rather be thorough.  Once I get thinking about the child, going over my notes from months past, the writing just seems to flow.  Like it did back in college when I had a term paper due the next day.  Man, I could just go on and on about 19th century Norwegian peasant farmers’ uprisings, or Mozart’s use of melodic intonation, or the influence of the pork farming industry on post-war Japan.  I could churn out a 15 page paper in 3 hours.  That was about my average into the wee hours — 5 pages per hour.  It wasn’t just my verbosity; it was also my typing speed. 

When I was 7 or so, my father taught me to type.  We didn’t get our first computer until the year I turned 11.  My parents had a green-on-black Olivetti word processor at their office, but we didn’t so much as have a typewriter to play on at home.  So he took a sheet of looseleaf and a penny, and commenced to draw 4 rows of offset circles.  He pulled out an old typing manual that pre-dated Mavis Beacon by a century or so, and taught me, “a lad has a lass;  a lass had a salad; alas; sad sad lass had a dad;” On and on until I was proficient.  The next year in school they began a pilot program in my third grade class.  A computer teacher from The College came to our class with chunky keyboards with small LED readout screens.  And he taught me typing again.  The keyboards had one basic game, with several levels of difficulty.  A letter, word, or sentence would march across the screen from right to left, and you had to type it — quickly! — before it completed its journey.  At the end of the game you would learn your letters-per-minute score.  The teacher challenged us to beat his score, 200, was it?  And in my brother’s year, 3 years later, his friend Jake Kravitz finally did.  I didn’t beat his score, but I typed on an actual keyboard, a boon preparing me for college research paper marathons. 

Even today, coworkers randomly comment on how fast I type.  When I was courting Mr. Apron on AOL IM, my roommate would complain she could hear the typing from the next room as she was trying to sleep at 3am.  Imagine her nerve, interfering with blossoming young love!

So why is it these blogs take so long!  I took a nap, Mr. Apron went upstairs to blog, and it took us both an hour to re-emerge from our respective activities.  They certainly don’t look like 5 pages of research paper material.  When he puts in links, it takes even longer.  When I have to check facts, it takes longer.  When I’m not sure where I’m going because I never “pre-write” (remember that step in The Writing Process?), it takes me longer.  When wordpress’s delay after my typing is just that much longer, I have to pause to see where it catches up to me, and then go back and take the pesky “g” off of Mr. Apron’s name which always attaches itself to the end like a poo fragment on Finley’s ass.  When I have to take time to think of a clever simile (see previous), it takes longer.  When I care about what I’m writing, I hope it’s worth it for you to read.

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