Since I’ve just finished my teaching career (for now, at least), I had to find a new job. One of my best friends, the Fashionista, knew this and about two months ago, she called me up and asked if I were interested in working at her office.
I actually worked there a few years ago as a sort of jack-of-all trades, since I did everything from curriculum redesign to book binding, with filing, mailing, stocking, etc., in between. The business is a home school program and therefore deals in an enormous amount of paperwork, covering book orders and providing tutoring services. It’s a pretty impressive institution, especially considering what a small operation it is. However, due to an increasing work load at the school where I taught, I decided to leave the business.
It’s funny that sometimes when a job is needed, an old option pops up under a new disguise.
One of the older employees at the business unexpectedly became a CPA and went off to new adventures, leaving the office rather burdened with the extra work. This was when the Fashionista called me. I hesitated for a little while when she gave me the news and the job offer. You see, I’d already worked there and I was imagining a totally new experience employment-wise.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere at the office during my original 14 months there. The offer was certainly tempting. I began to think it over, and realized that this opportunity was offering me something I really needed: spare time. Anyone who has ever taught or worked in a school can confirm with me that time for pursuing non-scholastic interests (anything from exercise to higher education to writing) is somewhat compromised. I’ve managed to do a lot of writing during my four years of teaching, but not much editing and very little self-promotion to agents and publishers.
One of the chief reasons I decided to leave teaching behind was to give me the time to get published.
That perhaps sounds a bit presumptuous, but it’s true anyway. Whether or not I actually get published, I have to have time to work on query letters and editing and the other preliminary things involved in the process. As I thought about other potential jobs – in retail, at a bank, as a librarian – I realized that there was no way to tell how busy I’d be. Would I be giving up teaching simply to plunge into a new, equally time-consuming job?
That was what allowed me to make the decision to go back to the homeschooling office. From personal experience, I know that the day’s work there may sometimes be involved and tiring, but in any case, when the day ends, the work ends. Then I can go home with enough time and energy to really make strides on writing.
I find that when making decisions, making just one thing a priority allows everything to fall into place.
What is the most important thing? I asked myself. The answer was clear: writing and shaping up my writing career. Once that idea was clear in my mind, I realized that new job experiences can always be had, but time to work on writing is more elusive. If I see a chance for the latter, I have to seize it – which is what I’ve tried to do, in taking my new job.
Of course, the fact that I’ll get to work side by side with the Fashionista (and other people whom I already know and appreciate) was a definite added attraction! The other element which eased my decision was the fact that I’m going to have a specific job-description at the office this time. I’ve been training for it, and it’s the one thing I never did in my previous days there, so I get the comfort of a familiar place with the excitement of a new endeavor. Pretty ideal, really!
I start full time this coming Tuesday, and in order to start off on a good foot, I’m also going to start editing House of Mirrors that evening. I’ve also already updated my query letter for The Art of Dying (since it’s fully edited, at long last), so I think that everything is shaping up for a productive summer. I’m looking forward to it, and I wish my readers similar good fortune!