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.


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. :)