Sunday, September 20, 2009

Soul Searching

Pam's blog on the 15th has inspired a bit of my own. First, I must disclaim that I don't work in corporate America. I'm a teacher, so I have a totally different set of pressures. Right now it's taking 60 ninth graders through To Kill a Mockingbird, teaching photojournalism, and reminding intro to journalism students to stop using I, you and our in news stories.

I confess, I've written very little this month, which is a tad worrisome to reveal as I know the Harlequin American editors read this blog and I have a deadline looming. But this is the time of year I must focus on getting school started. And as much as I love writing, when I die I'd rather have it written on my tombstone that I was a good mom and a good teacher rather than a good writer. So August and September are always about family and job before writing.

I am a huge believer in priorities. I'm also about trying to tackle fear and push through what TS Eliot called the Shadow in his "The Hollow Men." I also believe that if you wait for something, often times "way leads onto way" and as Robert Frost indicates, "I doubted it I shall ever come back."

Because I now you can't. This moment that you are reading this, this speck of time, only exists right now. Then it's gone, relegated to the past. It's the directions you are going, the choices you make and the paths you follow that matter.

So as I write this blog I'm headed back to the long weekends and weeknights of writing. Now that there are only 2 weeks left to the first quarter, I finally know all of my students names and can match those to their faces, and I have a better grasp on what I need to do to reach them. My own children are settled in school, and I can turn my attention to the people talking in my head clammoring for me to get their story done.

I learned long ago not to seek happiness, for that giddy feeling is often fleeting, and so I instead seek contentment with who I am and what I stand for. I've just come through a bit of a rough patch, but I'm in a better place, and excited for the future. And ready to get that book done.



Mint said...

I have always had the greatest admiration for teachers. I don't think they receive nearly enough credit for the work they do. Frankly I don't know how you find enough time to write with all you do. But I am glad you do. I always enjoy your books. So, keep on writing.

Linda Henderson

PamStone said...


I too admire teachers. Many cousins and friends are teachers. So true that we all have stress, just different stresses for different careers. I loved my kids and can't say enough wonderful things about my grandkids. However, if you locked me in a room five days a week with 20 or 30 of them, I'd crack. So I'm so happy that there are those who love it.

I've found that my discontent with corporate America runs in spurts and usually passes. The funny thing is that when I'm the mossed stressed with the day job is often when I get the most done on my writing. Go figure.


PamStone said...

Parden the spelling above. I had my 4 year old graddaughter in my lap eating breakfast and helping me type. (grin)

Lynn said...

Michelle, Great post. I think we all need to be able to look at our lives and set priorities. For me, almost daily words gives me the drive to see it through to the end. And the days that don't have words written on my little calendar, add up to guilt me into sitting down the other days.

I know I'm not one who could knock out 3000-4000 a day, yet I know people who can. My style is more the turtle.

Good luck with your deadline.

Linda Warren said...

Yay for you, Michele!!