Skip to main content

So, you want to be a writer

I am currently looking for a job (you hiring?  No?  too bad...).  It's an interesting experience.  Technically, I have been offered one position so far, but I had to turn it down.  Because, seriously, I can't move my family a few hundred miles south to a place with little to no housing that happens to also smell like over-cooked beans if you are going to pay me a ridiculously low salary to teach kids all day long...Oh wait, I got off track.

So, I keep applying at various places and hoping for a call.  (Funny story, another school down south in the same town that already offered me a job called me for an interview...goodness.)  Otherwise, so far I've had one email saying basically 'thanks and we'll be in touch when we start interviewing' which was better than the non-response from all the others.  It's gotten me to thinking - maybe, just maybe, I don't really want a job and so I keep putting non-job vibes out into the universe.  And instead of picking up on the oh-gosh-my-family-needs-me-to-have-a-job vibes, the universe is picking up the oh-gosh-I-want-to-write-not-teach vibes.

I do really want to write and be paid for it.  I do, I do.

Problem is, I don't, I don't.  Write, that is.  Not as much as I could or should.  I dabble in it, despite my previous commitments to it otherwise.  I'm proud to say my dabbling was twice published this spring, quite flattering.  But, neither paid.  My dabbling has me to about 28,000 words of a YA fantasy novel I've been working on for nine years (I keep count by Carly's age because I started it just before she arrived).  I've also got another novel in the works.  And another young reader fiction book stewing.  And a picture book that needs illustrating by someone talented.  And an idea for another YA novel.  And another young reader novel.  Some of these have been vetted here.  And some haven't.  (Are you interested in being a reader and giving actual feedback because it would really help me to have some outside perspective?  No?  Moving on...)

Thing is, I'm scared.  Ruled by fear.  What if people don't like what I write?  What if I can't finish the story.  What if no publishers think it's worthwhile to sell?  What if I really just don't have it in me to write something beautiful?  Does it have to be beautiful?  What if I never make it?  Is this all wasted time?  Wasted words?

Anything worth doing is worth risking, perhaps.  I'm trying hard not to be afraid.  And I'm trying hard to sit down and write for more than 10 minutes at a time.  I'm thinking about how to make myself a real office space where I go "work" (because the couch doesn't work for "work").  And, despite all the fear, I'm fairly positively sure that I want to be a writer, and perhaps a teacher on the side.

It's the how of making that happen that's tripping me up.

That, and the fear.

Comments

Julie Wiens said…
I'm so far behind on publishing my own blog and sadly have not kept up in reading blogs either. In a moment I will go bury my head in the sand in shame. I did have a thought about you needing readers. I have a group of 5-6 women who are just now starting a book club. Many of us ready fantasy. If and when you want some feedback I bet they would be interested in reading your works. Let me know. I'd love to help if I can. I know you can write and teach at the same time. You can do anything. You always have.
Sarah said…
You are very kind! If your book club says they might be interested, by all means I would be happy to have them read a bit for me.

Popular posts from this blog

Dear Carly,

I assume that one day you will come to me wanting to know who you are, where you came from, where your other family is and why they gave you to us.  I offer you little bits of information already, but certainly not crumbs enough to satisfy the appetite.  Perhaps it won't matter to you.  I am assuming a lot, already, about how adoption will impact your life.

People often wonder why adoptive parents are hurt when their children seek out biological roots.  I have the answer, and it's very simple.  Adoption - at its core - makes us question the legality, authority, voracity, and validity of parenthood.  For most adoptive parents, first you must come to terms with an issue that strikes at the foundations of mortality: fertility.  From birth, most of us are driven to form families.  First we are nestlings, nurtured and weened and eventually taught to fly.  Then we are nest-builders, filling our lives with the stuff necessary to drive life forward.  Knowledge, safety, money, a sturdy …

On being away from home and turning sixteen: a letter to my son

Dear Josh,

I missed your sixteenth birthday.  I'm sure you recall - or maybe it wasn't so bad because you spent the whole day with your friend watching movies.  Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, you've said.  It's no surprise to me that Godzilla was your favorite of the two.  That atomic green monster holds a special place in your heart.

It was very difficult for me to be away from you when you crossed this threshold in your life.  I remember turning sixteen, being sixteen, and wondering when I would feel like I was actually sixteen.  When I was sixteen, I went and found my first job, I started driving myself around, and I pretty much felt like I was in the wrong skin.  I'm only now, at 37, beginning to feel in the right skin.  Or at least comfortable with the skin I'm in.  But you - well, you don't seem to have a problem being you.  I can't explain how very happy that makes me feel, how very reassured.  Because it can be really hard not to like you…

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

You know when you see someone again and it's been, like, forever, and you're not really even sure that you're getting their name right and you wonder WHAT on EARTH they've done to their hair/face/body/children and you can't quite find the right words to fill the gap between time and space?
My second year of teaching is just beginning - and isn't that a wonder?  Last year...let's just say, we all survived.  Last year involved:
- Commuting home (2 hours, one way) almost every weekend - The kids and I here (in Espanola, where I teach) while Eric stayed in Edgewood - Putting our (still for sale) house on the market - Two semesters of Master's classes (what was I thinking??? on the up side, I only have 1 semester left and I am DONE.  D. O. N. E.) - Saturday's spent in professional development - My first ever "work trip" to San Diego 
And this year:
- Josh is a Senior (whuuuut!) - Carly started 5th grade - We all live here in Espanola (double WH…