Monday, April 28, 2014

Back to Work

Last night I lay in bed thinking about teaching and how to get out of it and move on. My wife is talking about applying at an elementary school. I'm torn about this. If she gets the job, I could leave mine, but she enjoys the job she has now and I don't want her to have to support me when who knows what I would do with the opportunity.

That got me thinking that if I'm serious about writing, I need to do a lot more than 750 words a day. I need to dig in. That's 2,000 to 5,000 words a day and getting things published. It is taking on difficult tasks. That's the way to see if I'm willing to go all in.

Yesterday I read an article by the guy who writes No Meat Athlete. He wrote that his success comes from being obsessive about what he does. I haven't been obsessed with writing lately because of fear, fear, and fear. I'm not yet ready to quitting teaching and run off in a new direction. I've got to give myself the chance to be obsessed.

Also yesterday, I posted a list of old teaching books I'm getting rid of. Ten of seventeen have been claimed and are going out the door this week. It feels odd to let them go, but helps me turn new pages, find new adventures. Getting rid of old things might help me throw myself into writing though I fear making mistakes.  

I have to remind myself that it's okay to fumble. Last night, I packed my briefcase, set out the coffee, pulled down my lunch bag. I was set. But this morning the charging cable for my phone was in my pants pocket back upstairs in our room. I went up and got it, disturbing my wife's sleep almost as much as the cat has. Then, downstairs again, I realized my watch was still on my bedside table. Once again I disturbed her, cursing myself, grabbing the watch. I worried that she would be angry and disappointed. If so, then what would she think if I quit my job and failed at writing?

I thought I was all set last night, but there was more to it than I had prepared for. I made mistakes. My wife will forgive me for disturbing her sleep. I have to remember that she loves me and that she knows that mistakes are part of life.

I have strong coffee, good music, and a warm heater here in the quiet darkness of my office nook. I have an hour before I leave for school and only a few weeks left for the year. Then what? Summer school, maybe. And in September? I don't know. I don't have to know, much as it bothers me to go forward not knowing. I can figure this out one step at a time, one day after another, with a sense of adventure and excitement. I can develop the passion to see me through. All it takes is the willingness to write on.