The fact that I’m trying to carve out a living for myself as a teacher and a writer is actually pretty strange when one stops to consider how incredibly introverted I am. “But writing is the realm of introverts!” some may retort. Yes, for that lovely solitude of actually sitting down to write. But the agent hunt, marketing game, world of reviewers, and idea of “fans” brings all of that into a strange land where someone with a lot more energy and sociability would fare better than I’ll ever be able to. The hope of readers diving into my worlds and loving my characters: awesome. The stress of reviewers ripping it apart in that soulless manner they have: terrifying.
Teaching, meanwhile, is its own beast. If I allow myself to stop and think about it, it’s not that bad–I’m only up in front of people for about 5 hours of my “7” (uh first year teacher, try 10 to 12) hour day, and the fact that my students are young little tykes… of 17… helps, since public speaking is far worse in front of peers. Still, I start each period feeling like I must take a deep breath and put on an acting hat, one full of confidence and energy and zeal and a loud projecting voice that doesn’t really want to be trying to entertain (and teach and assess and counsel) all these growing minds. I love it but I’m scared of it. I thrive in it while getting to Friday afternoon and feeling a wave of relief wash over me that I made it another crazy week. (Confession, this last Friday night the relief had to be partnered with a tall pint. We had a campus lockdown and I was with my last period for almost 5 extra hours… the “emergency toilet” (a blue bucket with cat litter that every classroom must have) was even put into use. We were escorted out of the classroom by SWAT teams. Long day).
So what does this mean? I don’t know. I’m still trying to make sense of this blessing, that I get to do what I love while not even understanding why I love it when I don’t seem perfectly built for it. My life seems so overwhelmingly busy and yet there is so much more that’s going to be added at some point. I need to get involved in a ministry again, especially now that Jeff and I seem to have found the church we’ll call home. I can’t imagine juggling all this life PLUS a baby (ooor multiple babies) some time in our future. And still I carry the far-off dream of a book tour, too.
At least as an introvert, I and my loved ones understand my limits and will let me crawl into my shell to recover with no hard feelings.
Anyway… my progress with the Huck Finn adaptation is going slowly (like 100 words a day slowly), but still, I’m proud to be writing SOMETHING even in the midst of all my busyness. I hope to bust out the majority of it over Thanksgiving break and Christmas break this year. The voice is really fun and catchy and I think, if I finish it and take it seriously, that this, rather than Copper, could be the first thing I sell.