Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I'm that rare and odd creature: the person who became what they said they were going to be when they were a kid. I would occasionally flirt with other ambitions, catching an enthusiasm from a book or a movie. There was my brief affair with archaeology, and my short-lived interest in law, but I always circled back to the trinity:
I was about 5 when I decided I was going to be a teacher, a writer, and a mom. I announced it to my family at a holiday party. Everyone nodded sagely and went back to their cigarettes (it was the 70s).
I loved school, books, and kids, so it seemed like a no-brainer to me. Of course, my vision of what being any of things was like was, well, less than accurate. I had no idea how overwhelming all three of those roles can be individually, let alone wrapped up into a single person-sized package.
I imagined that teachers got paid to play with kids, that writers got paid to make up stories. I knew moms didn't get paid, but they still got to hang out and play with kids all day, so it couldn't be all bad. I'd have plenty of money from teaching and writing, right?
With that childish understanding of money and time, I assumed I'd have a lovely country estate with a tower room to write in and someone tending my garden and horses, and plenty of energy to handle all of these things.
But I did do them all…eventually.
Just not all three of them at the same level all the time.
I got my first teaching job fresh out of college and continued to teach for 27 years before I left the career for something less stressful and more lucrative (I'm a Content Strategist for a big financial company now).
I had my first kid when I was in my late twenties, and started to scale back my teaching a little. I volunteered for fewer extras, streamlined to try to lessen the amount of work I took home every night. But then I was doing two of the three: teaching and momming. Sometimes I wrote.
I had my second kid in my mi-thirties. I scaled back my teaching even more. I gave up teaching English and began teaching beginning Spanish which had a lighter paper grading load and could more easily be forced to stay within working hours only, if I was disciplined. Sometimes I wrote
Throughout all those years, I always wrote, off and on, when the mood hit me, when I could steal the time and focus. But it took me a while to get around to finishing and publishing things, in part because of teaching and momming. There are, after all, only the 24 hours a day.
But I started taking it seriously when I was 42. And that was another rebalancing, taking time for myself, and negotiating space for a writing life with my career and family. I guess I'd built up a head of steam, though, because once I committed and focused, I got my first book contract with two years, and I've worked steadily ever since.
Here we are 10 years later, and I've got 41 titles to my name, counting all the editions: everything from short stories included in anthologies, to novellas, to novels, and even a poem or two.
|My Amazon page|
I did it y'all: I'm a teacher-writer-mom, even if I technically don't teach for a living anymore.
How about you? What did you imagine for your adult self when you were a child? Is that what happened?