In a twist of irony, I recently rediscovered a book I began reading but misplaced somewhere years ago (and with only about an eighth of it left to read). I started my career of teaching about then and I didn’t have time for reading anything like that anymore, so it got shoved in a drawer of my nightstand. Here comes the part that makes that ironic. On the back cover of the book, Stephen King’s writing memoir On Writing, it reads, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”
See the irony now?
My true dream since ninth grade was to be a writer. My English teacher discovered I had this talent which had previously just been something I did because it was fun, with no realization that I was any good at it. After all, I suffered from the common ailment of adolescence, low self-esteem. Once I had my teacher’s push and support for writing, I became passionate about it. And my parents encouraged me. Everyone around me encouraged me, so I kept it up… until college, when I no longer had time because I was working the low end of full-time hours and taking a full-time load of classes, all while maintaining steady A’s and B’s. My deep down dream was to be a famous and rich writer, but the realist inside of me knew money for writers was hard to come by and I would need a day job.
My “day job” then invaded every moment of my life, leaving me in exhaustion in the tiny bits of “free time” I could muster. About all I ever seem to have energy for after a day of teaching, planning, communicating with parents, grading work, and on and on, is crashing on the couch to mindlessly watch television. So, even reading is something I find I have little time for, unless it’s something I’m reading to teach in class or all too often horrendously written student papers (also, I tend to just fall asleep when I try to read-pathetic). According to the above quote, I have no tools for writing, which I guess is all right since I don’t have the time for it anyway.
That’s right, I just wrote a stand alone “Grrr!” and I’m not ashamed. I am, however, ashamed that I let my dream die. But perhaps it isn’t completely dead. I’m trying to shock it back to life. That’s the purpose of doing this blog. It forces me to write something, anything really (this is more obvious if you’ve read the random and often unrelated posts I’ve been writing).
It took me two summers to write my book. And it has taken me two more summers to get the nerve to do anything with it. I will be self-publishing it soon (mostly waiting on my cover art), and I will see if the interest deems the book worthy of a sequel and go from there.
I recently shared that my desire, and what I feel is my calling, is to work with survivors of human trafficking, and now I’m writing that my dream is writing. I must seem scattered. Truthfully, I want to work as an abolitionist and help restore those who have suffered at the cruel hand of slavery, but I also feel my ability and passion in writing can work the other end of the problem, which is awareness. Somehow I can fuse these dreams together. But I must make time to read, to write, and to research my next moves all while I work my day job, which will begin again in about a month. This school year will be challenging, but my hope is that I will be able to actually set off on my true life’s mission in about a year from now as I use this time to prepare.
For now, I’ll continue my blogging, and I’ll read as much as I can, including finishing On Writing.