So, it appears I have hit the obstacle that many writers, both new and old, have to deal with on a constant basis. Time.
Teaching is a full-time gig that far extends past the hours that children are physically inside the building. I wake up around 5:00 am. and must leave the house by 6:00 a.m. on the dot, or face the possibility of being late. My job begins when students arrive to homeroom at 7:30 a.m. and finishes at 4:00 p.m. (students should be officially dismissed by 3:45 p.m.) Prep periods are spent cleaning up the room, making sure I have enough copies for the next few classes, grading, re-working aspects of lessons that didn’t go so well so that the others go more smoothly, etc. An hour and a half drive awaits me at the end of the school day. By the time I get home my body and spirit feel shot and a half hour relax period before dinner is nowhere near enough. It’s 7:30 by the time dinner wraps up. I have two and half hours finish what I need to before I get to my self-imposed bedtime at 10, but I never get to bed before 11. After five or so hours of sleep I wake up to do it all over again.
Saturdays are the only days my wife and I can do anything together. Sunday is my rest and recoup day, with the evening filled with lesson planning for the school week about to begin as well as more grading. Although I do my best during this routine to accomplish as much as I can, I’m still behind in posting grades in my school’s online grade book and I sometimes don’t finalize my lesson plans until Monday (yes, I at least make Monday’s plan by Sunday night).
Despite all that, I still love being a teacher. Finding the time to write around the schedule my profession demands has been challenging. Luckily the Glimmer Train contest for short stories from new writers has a one week grace period. My story revolves around a father and young daughter coping with the mother’s early death. I’m passionate about this story and how the characters grow from the beginning to the end, trying to wrestle with the eternal question of why we are mortal.
Wish me luck.