Please don’t judge me too harshly for what I am about to say. I told you from the beginning that this blog would be my way of working through my issues and barriers in regards to writing ✍🏻 and the road toward potential publication, so I am going to be 100% honest all of the time, no matter how ugly that might look and sound. They say you’ve got to shine the light 🔦 on your hidden demons 👹 if you’re going to scare them out of their secret hiding places once and for all. So this morning, I went monster hunting 👺⚔️
Any writer’s out there who’ve read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron know all about morning pages. If you’ve not read it, morning pages are essentially 3 full pages of nonstop journaling done by hand that is meant to help you release all of your fears, worries, concerns, doubts, ideas, rants, etc. on paper before you start writing your main work. This way, when you finally sit down to write your novel/short story/poem, your mind is lighter and free of those demons that drag you down. Therefore, you’re able to focus on the work and not your fears of inadequacy. Well, I was writing my morning pages while laying in bed, and boy did I have a lot to say about my job… I knew my job has been weighing heavily on my mind for a LOOOONG time, but WOW! did I really let the ugly truth out of the ugly jar 🤬
F Bombs Galore!!!!
Let me be clear, I take my job very seriously and I work my butt off from morning until night lesson planning, grading, reaching out to students, reaching out to parents, giving additional help, making new templates, working on extra curriculars that I advise… some days, I work from 6:50am-11pm nonstop on teaching-related items. And not to toot my own horn, but toot toot, I am, a great freaking teacher 👩🏫. It is just the single most draining job in the entire universe, maybe in other universes as well, I don’t think it can be disproven so we will just go ahead and say it is there as well 🌍 .
*IF* I did not want to be a writer and creator with every fiber of my being, I would love teaching with all my heart and soul. I would be like the crazy cat ladies we all know, but crazy teacher lady. As it is, it is so hard to love the thing that keeps you from doing the thing you want more than anything else. You feel me?
I read Stephen King’s On Writing, another staple for all would-be writers, and his quote about teaching made me drop to my knees and raise my arms into the air shouting, “Yes! He gets it! Stephen King knows what it’s like!” 🗣
“Teaching school is like having jumper cables hooked to your brain, draining all the juice out of you.”– Stephen King
I get to school at 6:40am and then teach until 2:30pm ⌛️ By the time I am done, I have nothing left to give anyone. I am an introvert, so teaching 160 kids a day is exhausting to begin with. You have to be like Ellen Degeneres all day 🎵 dancing and upbeat. You’ve got to be “on”🎤 My students never see me as anything but positive and upbeat and ready to take on the world through English Language Arts 📚. I jump. I yell. I fist pump. All of it for ELA. But by 2pm, I feel like someone has snuck into my classroom and performed some serious bloodletting ritual on me 🧟♀️
I am so exhausted each day that I literally refuse to get married 👰 or have kids 👶🏻 (I’m 40 BTW) because after a long day of teaching, I have NOTHING left to give to anyone. I don’t know how teacher moms and dads do it. How do you continue to give and give and give and bleed and bleed and bleed all day long? At some point, I had to say no to something to preserve my sanity, and for far too long it was my writing that was always put off to the side as well as my future potential husband and kids. Now those ships have sailed 🛳 and all I’m left with is a heart ♥ full of stories that still beg to be told. I let my job get in the way of everything that mattered to me. I let other people’s kids be more important than my dream. I let other people’s kids be more important than any future kids I would have.
All these things (the choices I have made) have led me to a darker place lately where I am angry that I chose teaching despite my inner voice telling me at 21 to be a writer 📰. Ugh, if present me could go back in time and slap past me silly and say, “Listen! You are a grown ass woman. If your mom doesn’t want you to be a writer, too freaking bad. It’s your life. If you listen to her, your next 20 years will be filled with pain throughout your entire body, torturous parents who berate you for failing their children, hours of never-ending grading, agony filled overtime that you will never get paid a single cent to put in, also some misery, loneliness, too much booze, too much food, a constant cycle of gaining weight and losing weight, a constant cycle of avoidance, and some more. We may not know what’s down the writer path, but hey, give it a whirl because it’s better than the jumper cables strapped to your head day in and day out.”
Past me was smart, she’d have listened if only one person, ONE PERSON told her to go after her dream. I wish I never needed that kind of validation, but I did. I just needed one person who believed in me. I guess that’s why I chose teaching though. SO that I could be the one person for someone else. The person who encourages a budding writer or artist. The person who tells the kid who feels invisible, “I see you.” The person who steps in for the kid who is bullied and says, “That’s not ok, let me help.”
Don’t get me wrong, teaching is the most noble and wonderful job on the planet, but when your soul screams out in pain to write and create every day and you can’t because you’re too busy lesson planning, it is a hard thing to come to terms with.
I have yet to figure out my dilemma, but for now, I have rearranged my schedule and put my writing first thing in the morning. I now get up at 4am and write for one hour before school every day. That way, there are no excuses and no matter how bad my day goes, at least I have 1,000 words in.
Hope you all got time to put towards your passion as well. Anyone else have a job that keeps them from being the multi-passionate creatives that they are? I’d love to support you!
Just the world’s BIGGEST procrastinator when it comes to my writing. I have lived in such crippling fear of not getting published (fear of rejection anyone?) that I was too afraid to even pick up a pen. How dumb is that? This is my attempt to write — no matter how it all shakes down. P.S. I also learned that if I didn’t write, it would destroy me one piece of my soul at a time.