For those who don't know, I pulled my son out of public school in favor of homeschooling. If you're at all interested in what we're up to in that respect, I chronicle our daily adventures here. I know, without a doubt, pulling him was the right decision. I've been a "public-school parent" 10 years now, so I've been around long enough to see how the educational system in the USA tends to operate under the philosophy of one-size-fits-all. And when you have a child with special needs who doesn't fit nicely into the public-school setting and way of learning, you have to take matters into your own hands and find a solution that works for you, your child, and your family. For us, it was homeschooling.
But this post isn't about homeschooling. Instead, it's about my career as a writer and the decision I made to put it on the back burner. This time last year, I was spending 5, often more, hours a day writing and doing all the various side jobs that go with it. Now? I'm spending 5 hours a day teaching. I barely have time to fix my son and myself a late lunch before I have to pick up my daughter from school, and I transition from teacher to stay-at-home mom as the next 6+ hours of my afternoon / evening shift begin. By the time my youngest goes to bed - 9 PM on a good night, on account of her being active in gymnastics - I am finally ready to begin my night shift, aka writing.
I am a self-professed morning person. With both my girls now active in sports, however, I've been forced to change my view of what "late" is to accommodate their activities. A year ago, I would have scoffed and been majorly put-out at the idea of being anywhere but in my pajamas and robe on a weeknight. And I would have never chosen to write at night, when I'm exhausted and most in need of a break.
But write I must, not only for myself, but for the people who, strangely enough, seem to like reading my books. I have four books on which I'm currently working, all in various stages of completion. You can track my progress right here on this blog. Over there ----->
Truth be told, I don't enjoy writing at night. Not.At.All. My brain hurts and I'm often cranky. My strict 10:00 bedtime is quickly becoming a thing of the past. I'm on the move from the minute my alarm goes off at 5:20 AM, to the minute my head eventually hits the pillow. Had this been my writing schedule a few years ago, I would have given up and possibly never looked back. A few years ago, I didn't have the quickly-building fan base to boost my confidence that what I was doing wasn't for naught. There were just a few dedicated friends who consistently read what I wrote. But now? I need to know that I'm entertaining others, that what I put out there is not going unnoticed. And I know, without a doubt, I am and it's not. My sales reports illustrate that fact, as well as the positive feedback.
So . . . if you're one of those readers who sends me messages to "write faster" or you'll die waiting to read my next book . . . thanks for that. That's exactly the type of motivation I need to stay focused on my writing when all I really want to do is watch The Vampire Diaries or Parenthood. Or, you know, go to bed.