reality checkEvery year about this time, my principal sends out a memo asking us what we would most like to teach next year.

Hmmmm, should I answer the explicit question, or should I tell her what I’d really like to be doing next year?

Well, as I have had no indication that I will be able to dispense with my day job, I suppose I had better answer the question. Fortunately, I like teaching. I enjoy interacting with students, sharing knowledge with them and even, far more often than one might think, learning from them. My students are, in my admittedly biased opinion, some of the best human beings on the planet. They care passionately about the world they live in and they often provide me with hope for the human race just when I need it most. But I digress.

Now what was my point? Oh yes, I love my students but I need to write more.

Beyond the kids and my dreams of the NYT Best Seller List, the inescapable fact is, I need to continue to bring down a steady paycheck. The bills will not pay themselves no matter how much I beg and plead. On the other hand, if I’m ever to make the transition to full time writing, I need to write more, submit more, and ah the holy grail of writing, PUBLISH more. While I’m doing all this I also need to contend with the voracious demands of a profession in which “good enough” never is.

It is a conundrum. Yes it is.

So, what did I write on the memo? I asked to teach creative writing. It probably won’t lead to me having more time to write, but maybe I’ll get the chance to teach the next Jodi Picoult or Ray Bradbury. At the very least I’m almost guaranteed to learn something wonderful.


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