Category Archives: 2013 writing goals

Why I’ve Given Up on New Years Resolutions

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Well, I used to write a personalized self-improvement “book” every January.

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Actually, my lists were rather unrealistic as you can see. Strangely (or maybe not) my hobby and interest goals were the most successful.

But I’ve discovered a lot can happen in one year and goals set in January often lose relevance by July.

Take this year, for example–I never planned on starting my next novel this year with a full teaching schedule. But getting laid-off allowed me to do just that…

Really, I’m setting one goal this year: be ready to “seize the day” and capitalize on opportunities as they arise. Then, I am ready to set goals and follow through on them at any time. Sounds idealistic, but it’s really working for me.

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Teaching, Union Wars, and New Adventures

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My big goal for 2013 is to make sure that writing is at the heart of every day.

So, here’s my story. When I was a child, I wrote all the time…except of course when I was reading or having real-life adventures. My brother and sister begged me to tell them stories because they found my spontaneous tales fascinating.

Then reality set in, and I decided to become an English teacher. I thought that as a teacher I would read stories all day and assign and grade writing…and that teaching was a worthy calling and helpful for humanity…and it came with benefits and a retirement plan, right?

Well, after teaching for four years and finding out that public school teaching is about unions and years of service, I keep asking myself why I spent my twenties pursuing this career.

I loved the kids, teaching journalism, and helping my students write award-winning articles. But the school board and the union didn’t care about me, my hard work, my talent, or my kids. I worked 70 plus hours a week, and they laid me off along with 50 other young, hopeful teachers. We were just pawns in a big chess game between the union and the school board.

So I did get another teaching job…(my old school district called me back, but I said no!)… but then I started to think…is this all there is to my life…I have a wonderful family and God, but professionally? My hard work of establishing myself and doing cool things as a teacher got wiped out in one meeting when the board voted to let 50 teachers go…and I had poured my soul into that school, journalism program, and classroom.

So I came to the conclusion…maybe it’s time to invest more into my own creative life. Don’t misunderstand…I’m still teaching and helping kids, but I’ve pulled all my writing projects out, and I’m ready now to give them my focus.

Maybe writing doesn’t pay the bills, but I’m going to explore all the options available in this field. And, even if I have to work other jobs, I’m going to do what I love first..which is writing…and worry about retirement later…