Sunday, September 23, 2007


You all know that this transition back into teaching has been a tough one. I expected it to be very different from my previous experience, but I had no idea how draining it would be. I still don't know if I am cut out for this. I keep thinking they meant to call someone else...they pulled the wrong name from the pile. What did they see in me? There are good days when things come together and we all have fun together (my 14 students and I). But...

So the second part of my nervous breakdown...Am I going to lose my momentum? I want to start researching my next book, but frankly, I'm too exhausted to even get my own PJ's on in time for bed! I imagine that things will calm down soon and it won't be so overwhelming, but what if it doesn't? I feel as though I'm losing my grip on the writing world, which I have worked so hard to grab on to.

Of course I now begin the waiting game as well with my latest YA sitting on a desk at Philomel waiting to be judged. I know the editor is swamped, now, so my ill-fated dream of a faster response (because the sub was invited) are destined to ride the 4-month tidal wave of anticipation.

Anyone out there in blogland swimming in conflicting responsibilities and desires?


  1. Sometimes i think we are so worried as writers, that we will wake up one day and the writing mojo we need for our current WIP will have left us. Not so. Give yourself permission to put writing on the back burner, if you have to. I think good, relaxed writing is better than frenzied, forced writing. I just keep a lil notebook with me so I can capture those sporadic moments of inspiration that I'm too busy to give full time to, so that when I do have the time, I know exactly where I wanted to go. Living a full life is the best artistic inspiration and writing shouldn't keep you from that:)

  2. I love this post! "Swimming in conflicting responsibilities and desires"—um, yes. Everyday. Your work is out there—read, journal, read—give yourself permission to breath. Easier said than done, I know. Good luck on the submission!

  3. "Anyone out there in blogland swimming in conflicting responsibilities and desires?"

    Yeah, me. I teach too. Although I don't give grades, I often feel drained by the end of the day -- especially after teaching 5 or 6 classes in one day. When I come home, I have to nap for a while. When my own kids were younger, I didn't have time to teach and write. When I got home, I had to make sure they did their homework which often involved trips to the library. Then there were all the other things - the science fair projects, the violin and cello lessons, the soccer games, scout meetings, concerts, parent teacher conferences etc. I was lucky to squeeze in a run. It wasn't until a few years ago, when they both finally went off to college, that I rediscovered writing.

    Hang in there. It will get easier. Try to work it in when you can. Good luck. Maybe your book will get published and you can go back to writing full time. :)

  4. MaryAnn,

    Writing limbo--it happens. Give yourself a little break with a fixed deadline to it. Give yourself permission to relax and get used to school again, then you can add the writing back in.

    As writers, we think we must always, always be pressing on don't waste a minute, but gosh, we're only human!

    As Stuart Smalley would say, "And that's okay!"

  5. I had to take a 5-month hiatus from my crit group- and am going to start up again next week. I'm nervous to "add" writing back into my schedule. You won't "lose" it, either- I agree. Take a break if needed and come back when you're ready! You've had a lot on your plate this year.


  6. lol - I'm reading the comments and seeing a bit of misunderstanding on your readers' parts. I see you as saying you want to do some research on your next story but have no energy due to the new job and I've heard this is how it is for first year teachers - getting used to the routine and all. It does let up (from what I've heard from first year teachers) usually about mid way through the year because you have adjusted and the kids have adjusted and everyone is in the routine they need to be.

    If you need someone to research for you to give you some info for when you are ready, just holler - I'll do the research and send you what you need so when you are able to start, you can - you know where I am.

    And I agree with everyone else so far - that statement is so picturesque and puts so much imagery in our minds - take a breath and don't worry - the story will come when it is supposed to. - E :)

  7. Oh boy! I know that you wrote this a while ago, but I am definitely in the same boat. Working full-time, husband in school (and getting ready for med school--yeah! More time!), toddler... On top of that, I'm teaching an aerobics class 3 times a week.

    My issue is that I just don't seem to understand that I do need air....until I'm gasping. Then I go through the whole emotional breakdown. The "I can't do this", "I need help", and the "I feel like a lazy pile because I can't get it all done." My husband loves this time! :)

    I'm sure it will get better. You're an AMAZING teacher. Those lucky 14 who have your attention and commitment! I was one in the past, and I took so much. So if you don't get to the book as soon as you'd like, imagine the books that they'll enjoy because of you!

  8. Okay, Nicole...I'm gonna cry now! Thanks! I never realized how much we are alike--I have gone through all those stages in 3-day cycles over the last month.

    I got your last email, and I swear I'll answer it soon :) !

    You are an amazing woman, and I love watching you and your family grow. It's beautiful.

    Thanks for stopping in and for your kind words of support.


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