Saturday, April 23, 2011

Identity Crisis

Like most writers (aspiring as well as published), I have a day job. I don't know how many other writers love their day jobs, but I do. I get to hang out with very cool kids, talk about random things, and get them to think differently about mathematics. And I have a built-in test audience for my writing. What's not to love? (Uh, paperwork? School politics? Never mind.)

At the same time, this occasionally leads me into a minor identity crisis. No one really expects a math teacher to be a writer ... or at least not to be any good at it. That's fine, I like turning norms on their heads. But while they do overlap, there are parts of me that are distinctly either math-teacher or YA-writer.

Then the kicker—time allocation. Is the way I taught combinations and permutations last year good enough, or should I spend a weekend revamping the lesson? Revamping means giving up writing/editing time. Where are those 28-hour days we've all been wishing for? No, I won't kid myself. If days got longer, I'd still find ways to overfill them.

I think I've pinned down part of the reason I feel guilty when I settle for "good enough" on lessons. The math-teacher front is where I know I have talent. I'm not perfect, I could definitely improve, but I have solid evidence that I'm pretty darn good at it. With writing, I have some supporters, cheerleading in my corner, and I do trust their opinion. So far, though, I have to take it on faith that they're right.

Of course, the silver lining is in sight. My math-teacher side has mandated down-time known as summer vacation. As I did last year, this will be a time when I let Writer-R.C. dominate. Maybe crank out a short story or two, edit the new ms, dive back into the querying trenches ... and hopefully come that much closer to convincing myself the time is worth it.

3 comments:

Riley Redgate said...

The time IS worth it, and I'm SURE you'll soon have concrete evidence to prove it, Ms. Editor's Desk. =] Then you can bust that norm up like no one's business.

Mindy McGinnis said...

I love that you found a way to sneak the phrase "my intern" in here :) And don't worry, if you sucked, I'd tell ya! :)

R.C. Lewis said...

I did?? *combs post* Either I'm blind or you're imagining things, Mindy. ;) Thanks, guys. :)