Teaching vs Writing: Where is my Passion?

As you know, I have a full year teaching at a local high school (my high school).  Teaching English.  And I’m really enjoying it – for the most part. 

As you also know, I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  I’m really excited about it.  At least I will be when I actually start writing and getting my ideas down on paper and really starting my story.

So, I wonder sometimes.  Where is my passion really?

Teaching at the high school and having somewhere to go has been fantastic.  I have really enjoyed it.  But it is really hard.  And that’s not a problem.  But it’s not as effortless as the elementary school seemed to be when I was in it.  And I miss the elementary school.  But what I love about the high school is that I can connect with the students –at least sometimes.  And I can try to bring the stories to life.  Yes, I think that literary elements are interesting.  But I want the students to discuss the story.  And tell me their ideas about the story.  And really get into the nuances of the story.  And I can’t do that as much as I’d like because sometimes the students don’t actually read the story.  But you can’t really get into it much at all with the younger students.  So, I know that if I were to go back to the elementary level, I would really miss those aspects.

But writing is my sanity.  If I don’t write, I don’t stay sane.

So, I have chosen to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  Because I want to write something great someday.  And I can’t do that without practice.  I can’t make it happen and I want to make it happen.  It would make me so happy.

I mentioned a while back that if I could teach during the year and then write during the summers, I would be so happy.  Because I do love both.  But I’m beginning to think that maybe I really do want to be able to teach at the high school/college level.  I was told that I was wasting my intelligence when I was gearing myself up toward the elementary level.  But I loved it.  And I still think I would.  But maybe I wasn’t challenging myself enough.  I had an English concentration in college.  And I loved going to my English classes.  Reading.  And writing.  And learning.  And I think the reason I love writing so much is because I love to read so much.

I am hoping to do well in my story this November.  But I am using someone else’s plot.  A plot that has been winding in the recesses of my mind since I thought I might use it yesterday.  There is actually another plot that I like much more, but is too full of nuances for me to do justice for it now.  Maybe if I do Camp NaNoWriMo in August, I will use that plot (it is also a stolen plot).  Anyways, this might also be the first year that I fall behind in my word count.  I have never been behind.  I usually excel at my word count.

But right now, I am going to attempt to write my first day’s words (due to the hecticness of my schedule, I try to get my blog entries written the night before. Otherwise you get the rambling that was yesterday – although it was more than I had anticipated).  I need to attempt to write 1,667 words if I want to be on track.  Which could be easy, but could also be hard.  Because I can get it done pretty quickly – but I don’t really know anything about my characters or my plot at all yet.  So we will see what happens. 

And in regards to writing or teaching.  I want to do both.  But if I had to choose write now.  I don’t know what I would do.  Because there are days when I feel really unsuccessful in teaching.  And that is so stressful.  But there are days,  especially when I am writing a story – that I feel really successful.  The key word there is feel…maybe I’m really not.  But it feels good to do it.  And I would love to be paid to research and maybe travel and write.  That would be so great!  And sometimes, I don’t know if I can take the stress of teaching.  And all the paperwork.  And all that goes with it.  But I’m sure that I will be fine. 

So, I don’t know where my passions lie, but I need to figure it out.  And as soon as humanly possible.  So I can stop beating myself up over things.  On to my other words.  Words that will ramble as much as these, but hopefully have a truth in them that other people might want to read as well.

[update 6:19 AM Nov 2]: I did get my words written last night.  And my characters have already started to come alive for me – although I do not know them at all yet.  And I did put in some blanks and want to add some things and maybe the beginning will completely change at the end of all this, but I have a good feeling.  I’m not saying the novel will be anything great, but I’m saying I can do it and I’m going to enjoy it!

What are your passions?  Have you ever thought that you should do one thing and completely changed your mind?  What about when you can’t chase your passion because of restraints (monetarily or otherwise)?  Any advice for me?

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