So Boochani wrote his award winning book on WhatsApp. And I have been blogging so irregularly: firstly because I have way too many writing deadlines and even when I have wanted to blog, I worry what people expecting writing from me will think if I am wasting time blogging! But the other reason that writing and blogging both have been delayed is that I am spending most of my time holding my newborn baby, born December 2018. Breastfeeding, rocking, changing, burping, holding quietly while sleeping, sometimes transferring to bassinet and beginning again — these are the daily activities of my arms. This is the first baby I have had while owning a good smartphone, however.
As is usual with all my four kids, I have read a lot while feeding. But this time I have read books on kindle, overdrive and Google play rather than print. I have tried to read student work and do editorial work, but it doesn’t work… firstly the documents don’t have free flow text so they are awful to read, and secondly, editing and commenting is nightmare on this tiny screen. Good for one hand, because it is lightweight, but really editing and writing are two handed jobs for me.
And then of course, when I do have two hands free, I have this little bundle of cuteness wanting to interact with me, only me, who, for the not insignificant reason of giving birth and being source of sustenance, is the most amazing person on the planet to this wee guy. So the conundrum… productive two handedness doesn’t come easily in this stage of life.
But does writing really have to be two-handed typing at speed in a quiet room no distractions? Boochani’s achievements suggest to me that perhaps not. After all, I write plenty of emails by phone, feeding on the couch, surrounded by nappies to fold and children to watch, doing what I can with one hand free. And don’t even remind me how many tweets and Facebook comments I have whipped off in my hours scrolling social media.
I am writing this on my phone, with my thumb, right now. It is not fast and it is not my preference, and it will no doubt be ridden with errors. But if I think of you, dear reader, as a Facebook friend or member if my circle of Twitterati, perhaps it doesn’t matter. The important thing will be to keep writing, even if the medium is smart phone. Because there is one thing I have learned in parenting four kids while working, and that is take every opportunity to do what you need or want to do, whether it is exercise, shower or write. If you wait for the ideal conditions it will never happen!