On Quitting Writing

Some people praise me for chasing my dream, but I have to be honest, it kind of sucks. Every day I say I’m going to be a writer, and at this point in my life, I absolutely hate writing.  I’m not sure if it’s the assignments mandated by my professors or the lack of interest in the subject matter, but writing sucks. I’m even getting tired of writing blogs about writing. So today, I’m not going to talk about writing. I’m going to talk about other things.

Yesterday, it occurred to me, that maybe, just maybe I have lost interest in my current pursuit because it’s difficult: I want to abandon my M.A. in writing because I am not motivated enough to do the work.  But this isn’t the only thing I’ve quit because it got tough.

When I was in undergrad, I was an education major; I wanted to teach and work with children.  I went to my little field experience assignments– Field experience is where you would spend a few hours a week shadowing a teacher.  You help out in her classroom, take notes, and maybe teach a lesson.  I was with a kindergarten class.

This did not work so well for me.  I had to walk 1.5 miles in the hot Florida sun to an elementary school. Funny, because my advisor told me the school was close enough I could throw a rock and hit it. Bullsh*t. Clearly, 1.5 miles is not rock throwing distance. Duh.

Anyway, the University of Miami has an elementary school right behind the dorm where I was living at the time, to which I was conveniently NOT assigned.  And my “advisor” had no interest in helping the car-less/bike-less chick out.  Furthermore, I was graded on my personal appearance.  Do you think you would look freshly pressed after walking a mile and a half when its 80 degrees out? I don’t think so.

Needless to say, field experience was not fun. I think I would be lying to myself if I said that having to walk to field experience wasn’t the reason I quit. But I’m going to lie anyway.  I liked kindergarteners, but they would be boring to teach. ABCs and 123s day in and day out.  That would be the bane of my existence.  I couldn’t do it.  I could have reassessed and said, well, if I don’t want to teach elementary school, who do I want to teach?  But I didn’t, I bailed, That was in 2005 or 2006.

So now, five years later, because I’m struggling with the writing thing, I’m thinking, well maybe I should teach.  I mean, what exactly am I going to do with my writing degree anyway?  If I don’t want to contribute to big business (i.e. advertising/sales/marketing), I have to teach.

Then I think, teaching kids English Literature might be fun. So then I look online at all the requirements for people without a degree in education. The page itself is a headache. Figuring it out would be a ton of work in and of itself, then getting a temporary certificate would be kind of a pain– all the exams I’ll eventually have to take, paperwork, interviews, etc.

And then, my literature classes prove I don’t analyze literature the “correct” way. What can I say, I have a strange view of the world.  Strange view of the world= Failed FCATs.  And I abandon this whole teaching idea altogether.

Where does that leave me? Back focused on writing.  I’m focused on writing, but I’m not truly focused on writing.  I am procrastinating and doing a half-*ssed job. And this is where I am today. I’m about to abandon the whole writing thing and go work at a summer camp.

Now suddenly, looking over some comments my professor made on previous assignments (some positive feedback btw) I thought, I do want to write and be a writer and all that. I just want a job, doing the parts of writing that I love. Not the crappy homework assignment type of writing.

When I see other writers and journalists doing what they love, I envy them.  I envy their success. One of my favorite blogs: Untiligetmarried.com (always hilarious and interesting). That to me is a successful blog.  And I’m sure the author makes good money from it too.  But when I imagine the writing lifestyle for myself, its tough and way more work than I ever thought it would be.

Sometimes I just want stability: a steady, predictable income, a routine, and a schedule, etc. Actually, I crave stability in my career. Meanwhile, I think there is no way I could spend my life doing a job I hate. Life is too short to waste.  Yet there is no stability in writing fiction, poetry, and blogs.

Another thing I thought could be a good (yet extremely challenging career move) is to go into publishing.  I will certainly have the right background for it with my Master of Arts in Writing. I don’t necessarily have to be published. But I will have to move to New York City to get a job as an editorial assistant for a publishing house. And I truly believe that would be an interesting job.  My only hesitation is, does it leave room for me to do my own writing on the side?  I’m not really sure it does, so this career idea is on hold for the moment.

So where do I go from here? I think I really am going to give the teaching thing serious thought.  This idea has been floating around in my head for a long time now. I’ll go shadow a few different high school and middle school English teachers, especially those that teach creative writing.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

1 thought on “On Quitting Writing”

  1. I can help with the teacher certification thing if you are interested. Not sure if you’re still living in Florida, but it is actually VERY easy to become a teacher if you are. The only issues are that jobs are very limited right now and usually temporary, but it is starting to get better. E-Mail me if you want help and hang in there!

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