Tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, will be my last day teaching full time.
Back in August--two weeks before school started--I was asked to fill in temporarily as an English teacher at the local Christian high school where I'd taught for five years (2001-2006) -- just until a permanent teacher was found. But the board and the administrator wanted me to be the permanent teacher.
"I can't," I told them. "I need time for my freelance work. I need time to write."
Producing a daily radio program, writing a weekly newspaper column, mentoring writers through Christian Writers Guild, and working on my fiction projects took more than the couple of hours after school I had, and after supper I was too tired to do much of anything, let alone something that required brain power.
But teaching has always been my passion, and truth be told, I didn't want to leave until we'd covered Macbeth in English Lit. And Silas Marner in World Lit. And . . .
Since most of my classes are in the morning, I suggested that I work half days. They liked the idea. So starting Monday, I'll teach in the mornings and write in the afternoons.
Before I was asked to teach, I'd planned to finish editing a book manuscript for a friend by Labor Day. I'd planned to finish the revisions on my novel, The Heart Remembers, at the same time. But, as John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens while you're making other plans."
But next week, Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, I'll get back on track.
Perhaps you, too, planned to start that book you've always wanted to write, send out that query about an article idea, research markets for your devotionals. But life happened.
Don't despair. Take care of the things that crop up, then get right back on track.
My writing goals for October include finishing the editing project, record some new radio programs, keep caught up with mentoring and writing my column--and finish revising The Heart Remembers. I'm itching to get started writing novel number three. A couple of weeks ago I attended an open house at a local one-room schoolhouse owned by the historical society to research my next project. While I was scribbling notes, my protagonist, a young girl named Ubby who will teach in a one-room schoolhouse, was suddenly there with me, telling me about herself and giving me plot ideas. I couldn't write fast enough.
November is just around the corner. NaNoWri Month--National Novel Writing Month. The goal for those who participate is to write 50,000 words from November 1-30. That's 2,500 words a day, five days a week, four weeks a month. I can do that. That's one chapter a day. I've done it before. I can do it again.
I can't wait.