When I started writing (and wanting to publish) about 25 years ago I was stuck in a job I didn’t like and saw writing as a way to get away from having an asshole for a boss, not have to punch a time clock, and yeah, get rich. I wrote because I didn’t want a day job. The jobs changed, from machinist to newspaper reporter, to corporate writer, to public relations director, and I kept writing because I need that creative outlet, but there was always that thought that part of why I did it was to get away from having a regular job. Then I became a teacher.

I look at what kids write in my yearbooks, the artwork they give me during the year, the personal messages in their journals, and the comments and captions they add to pictures of us on Facebook, and now I wonder if I’d give up my job if I achieved that long-held dream of being a rich and famous author. Money can’t buy you the title of “best teacher ever”, or even “favorite teacher”. And no amount of fame can equal the feeling of a kid telling you that you’ve taught them something that made a difference and helped them out later.

On one hand, it’s kind of sad that I didn’t figure out what I wanted to be when I grow up until I was 40 years old. But then I look at some of my colleagues who went from high school to college, back to high school to teach and are now cynical or burned out and think it may have been better that I bounced around in the real world for a while. Not so good for building a retirement fund, mind you, but I think it’s better because I know what else is out there and am now doing what I do because I love it.

Of course, it should also be noted that I’m writing this the first week of summer break!

3 responses to “Career”

  1. I’m posting this here instead of LJ because I don’t have a log in for LJ. I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t just writing this because it’s the first day of summer break. I read your blog all throughout the year, and I can see your passion in your posts. Things may not always be easy during the year and the kids make you want to tear your out, but you love what you do and the rewards you get from doing it. You can always have more than one things that incites passion in you. Writing just happens to be your second one. Plus I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on Nadia’s Children.

  2. Thanks, Michelle. The irony of the situation is kinda funny when you consider I’m waiting on a book contract that is equal to about what I make in one year of teaching. I’m closer to achieving that dream of no day job than I’ve ever been, and suddenly I’m not so sure I’d give it up. I do love what I do, and I miss most of my students. Thanks to Facebook, I get to stay in touch (and keep nagging them).

    Nadia’s Children. Yeah. It looks like I’m going to have to yank all my werewolf books because Scrybe Press hasn’t paid me or sent a royalty statement in years. That means I’ll have to find a new publisher, and they’ll likely want to reissue at least Shara and Ulrik before Nadia’s Children. I hate that it has to end this way, but I won’t have sales of the Scrybe titles pick up with the release of the Bloomsbury book and me not get my share of the money. So, the wait could be pretty long. Sorry!

  3. Can’t say that I blame you for wanting to yank them from Scrybe. I would do the same if I were you in that position. They shouldn’t reap the rewards when they haven’t been passing them along. If you can get them picked up and reissued by a larger publisher then go for it. Besides that then they would be in the brick and mortar stores. I can wait however long I need to on Nadia’s Children. I’m sure in the mean time you’re going to be putting out other titles that I’m sure won’t disappoint. 🙂

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