A few weeks ago, on the #AmWriting with Jess & KJ podcast, I moaned and groaned about how difficult it is for me to write when I'm traveling for speaking gigs. Between my topsy-turvy sleep schedule, the weird juju of hotel rooms, and the inevitable travel brain drain, my writing really stalled out last year. I managed to write my New York Times "Parent-Teacher Conference" column thanks to my editor's inflexible deadlines, and I read a lot of background research on planes, but that was about it.
This year, I will do better.
The Gift of Failure paperback edition was released on August 23, so I am back out on the road after a blissful, restorative summer at home.
This week, I'm in San Antonio at the invitation of The DoSeum to give talk about improving the quality of education in San Antonio. I got in at sunset, so I took a walk along the river and rode over to dinner at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia with my Uber driver, Sigfredo. He warned me about the touristy kitsch of Mi Tierra, so I was prepared for the spectacle (and the roving musicians). I'm not really sure what's going on over there decor-wise, but I can attest that their mole rocks the house.
I arrived back at my hotel fueled up and ready to write.
I've been working on a couple of different projects this summer, including articles I'd put on my mental back burner, chapter summaries for my next book, and a YA novel I started before this whole Gift of Failure adventure began. I lost traction on all of that last year, and won't let that happen again.
To that end, I introduce "One Writer, Many Desks," an attempt to hold myself accountable and keep the words flowing while continuing to tour for Gift of Failure. My 2016-17 speaking schedule is booked solid, and I'll be visiting nearly fifty schools, nonprofits, and corporations in twenty different states.
I will chronicle my efforts to maintain a regular writing routine in the midst of a chaotic and busy travel schedule, and promise to share any tips and tricks I learn along the way both here and in the "Best Practices" segment of #AmWriting with Jess & KJ.
Date: September 22, 2016
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Best Practice: "Just open the file every day. Just that." (K.J. Dell'Antonia)
September 23: DoSeum, San Antonio, TX
October 4-5: LifeManagement Center, Inc, Charleston, SC*
October 6-7: Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte, NC*
October 14: Virginia Association of Independent Schools, Richmond, VA*
October 15: James River Writers Conference, Richmond, VA
October 17: Rowland Hall/St. Mark's School, Salt Lake City, UT*
October 20: Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
October 21: Private event
October 24: Berwick Academy, South Berwick, ME*
October 27: Lake Forest Country Day, Lake Forest, IL*
November 1: Nashoba Brooks School, Concord, MA
November 2: Winchester Public Schools, Winchester, MA*
November 3: Heard in Rye, Rye, NY.*
November 7: Grosse Pointe Academy, Grosse Pointe, MI*
November 9: Second Growth: The Children's Fund of the Upper Valley, Hanover, NH*
November 17: The Peck School, Morristown, NJ
November 29: Oak Hill School, Nashville, TN*
January 9: Forsyth Country Day School, Lewisville, NC
January 11: Corona Del Mar High School, Newport Beach, CA*
January 31: Emerson Public Schools, Emerson, NJ
February 2: Montclair Kimberly Academy, Montclair, NJ*
February 22: Laurence School, Valley Glen, CA*
February 22: Westside Neighborhood School, Los Angeles, CA*
February 23-24: Chaminade College Preparatory, West Hills, CA*
February 28: East Moriches Union Free School District, East Moriches, NY*
March 1: Avenues: The World School, New York, NY*
March 7: Longmeadow Public Schools, Longmeadow, MA*
March 11: American Montessori Society Annual Conference, San Diego, CA*
March 12-13: LearnFest, Louisville, KY*
March 14: Zionsville Performing Arts Center, Zionsville, IN*
April 3: Downingtown Area School District, PA*
April 4: Cole T. Ballay "Carpe Diem" Foundation, Germantown, PA*
April 5: Lancaster Country Day School, Lancaster, PA*
April 6: Greens Farms Academy, Greens Farms, CT
April 25: Issaquah School District, Issaquah, WA*
May 10-12: Mom 2.0, Orlando, FL
* indicates a community read/on-site sale and signing of The Gift of Failure