Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Long Roads, Heartaches, and Why Can't I Just be a Writer?

At various times in my life, I've complained about my jobs. Yeah, I admit it publicly. I'm not always perky and silly and punny. Sometimes I yell and get angry and frustrated just like every other human being on the planet.

My current job is no exception. While I love working with children, love teaching technology, and love the people I work with, it saps nearly all my energy. During the school year when I come home at night I am a nearly lifeless husk of a pod-person. Being an introvert in an extrovert's world will do that. Sometimes I wonder how I drive home in my dazed stupor. I have no active brain cells left to write with, therefore, August through May, I write almost nothing creative at all. Which makes me sad. Nine months of the year lost because I have to eat, pay for a place to live, pay insurance, and fill my car with gas.

And I begin to wonder...wouldn't I be a better writer if I could quit my job and write full time? If my husband made enough money for us to live on, I could do the freelance gig to fill in the gaps while writing my stories and novels on the side and that would be bliss incarnate. What if we cut back a little more here and there, went out to eat less, and saved our money more? We could make it. It would make me a better writer. Really!


Then again, when I look at the YA novel I'm writing I couldn't have done that without LIVING around children who deal with real issues of abuse, neglect, learning disabilities, and social dysfunctions every day. Currently I have two people very close to me who are going through very scary medical situations. If I didn't take time off from writing and go visit them and cry with them and comfort them, I wouldn't see what going through those situations felt like.

Research is a wonderful tool. The Internet is my friend when it comes to many aspects of my books because I can't possibly know everything about everything. But when it comes to PEOPLE, nothing substitutes the actual living of your life to make your writing real. You will create more believable, more REAL characters when you really live. Sometimes that means you're not able to write as much as you want.

But some day, there will be a day when I won't have breakfast duty, lunch duty and bus duty all in the same day that I have three meetings, no prep hour, and have to break up a girl fight. (Girl fights are the WORST!) I look forward to that day.

Ah, retirement. Fourteen years down the road. Unless my husband suddenly gets a six-figure job. Which that works, too. ;-)