A few weeks ago, after yet another rejection from H/S, I was talking with Elisabeth and she asked, "If SIM had said yes, what would be different?" At the time, she meant my infuriating inability to get any words on paper, but the question has stuck with me, resonating on a much different level.
I pondered the question while sitting on the beach back in April, and this week I've had a ton of time to think about it while proctoring state testing. If I had sold already, what would be different?
Well, for one, I'd probably be in a world of hurt. I even came to the conclusion that I'm glad I haven't sold in the last three years since I came back to writing after a long sabbatical. Why?
I wasn't ready for it. Trust me, although I thought I was, I wasn't. If I'd gotten the call, the opportunity, I'd have messed it up, for a variety of reasons.
Now, here's the weird part . . . yes, my life will change somewhat if I sell. How could it not? Deadlines and copy edits and promotions . . . we're talking a complete full time job here.
I already have a career I'm passionately dedicated to. This last year, while learning a new state curriculum as well as working with a prep that was completely new to me, I couldn't have handled being a published author as well. I'm okay with that. I'm okay with not selling yet. Because when it does happen, I want to be able to mesh the career I love, the teaching, with the career I dream about, the writing. I know a lot of writers who have a primary job, one that pays the bills, and I know many who long to quit that job, to write fulltime. I can't see walking away from my classroom and the fantastic kids who fill it and make up a big part of my life. Already, I'm blessed with having a profession that I enjoy, one I (most days anyway) go to cheerfully, motivated to take on each new challenge.
Which is why when someone finally does say "yes," I can tell you the day job is one thing that won't change.