Why Being a Novelist and Being a Teacher Sometimes Doesn’t Mix
The view of Louisville, KY from my hotel window. That’s a barge pushing a ton of coal.
I’ve been an English teacher for over 16 years and I’ve technically been a novelist for about 5 of those years. I’ve been running this blog now for over two and half years, and I can tell you that doing all of this is really taxing.
Right now I am in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky at the AP Reader’s conference where we read and score the AP essays written by students all over the world. It is a good job, and the lovely people who hired me to do this (along with thousands of other teachers) are very accommodating. It is very difficult work, but I’m enjoying my time here, meeting other teachers and sharing ideas.
However, after grading essays from 8-5 I am in no mood at all to write anything. I suppose that is fine, since I’m working so hard and my brain has been on overdrive all day. My brain needs a rest. My eyes need a rest.
Teachers lead extremely busy lives. If you are not a teacher, you probably don’t have any clue about how hard we work. During the school year I find time to write because I stagger my job with my writing career. I get in Twitter and Facebook time as well as manage to crank out a thousand words a day or so. However, often I find my life as a teacher conflicting with my life as a novelist.
I have been working at this game for quite some time, but haven’t really found the happy balance between the two. Just when I think I have, the rug is pulled and my feet go akimbo. I had every plan this week to write once I returned to my hotel room, but so far I haven’t written a word other than this blog. The blog is important, as it is a place to vent about my writing or lack of writing.
I have four more days of grading, but meanwhile I’m cooking up several ideas for short stories that will be written upon my return home. I suppose I’ll mosey on down to dinner, wander outside the hotel where a Greek festival is kicking up, enjoy myself here in Louisville (which is a wonderful city) and worry about writing when my plane lands back in good old Sooner country (That’s Oklahoma for the uninformed).
When I get home all I’ll have for a distraction will be my lovely wife and four children… oh yeah. I don’t mind them so much. It’s fun being distracted by them. …especially my wife.