Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School - Two Perspectives

Tomorrow is the first day of school for students. I'm going to look at Back to School as a teacher, and then what Back to School feels like as an author.


I laugh when people tell me teachers get the summers off. No, as 10-month employees, every teacher I know, myself included, works a separate job during the summer. I teach younger kids theatre during the summer, and return to teaching high school during the school year. However, it is true that I work much fewer hours during the summer. Back to School means back to long days, back to stress, and back to the hustle of the school year.

However, this is also an exciting time.  Back to School is like New Year's. It's a time when everything starts again. You know the content and lessons you'll teach, but you don't yet know the most important part of the puzzle, the students you'll be working with. It's a blank slate time of year. The paper is before you, and the words are sitting in a pile, but the order is still a mystery...


While it can be an exciting time for a teacher, this is the absolute worst time to be both a teacher and a writer. During the summer I had some time to market, and even more importantly to work on my second novel. I finished the early drafts of Sword of Deaths, and am currently editing it. Yet, even now I feel the time I have to work on writing is slipping away...

How does one write at the most stressful and busy time of the school year? How does one concentrate? For me, the fall semester is the time of new students, as well as our fall musical, and the busiest time for theatre. We have auditions for Hairspray in two weeks. When will I find time to write, edit, or market?  The answer is to make a small amount of time every week. You might not get the time you have at other parts of the year, and you might have to put some things off until your schedule opens up more, but hopefully you find a way to keep writing.

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