Balancing Writing

In literary circles, the discussion of a writing life almost always involves frustration with writing and time. Time is something almost everyone seems to be lacking in when it comes to writing, because life requires balance, but it also demands funding. It is difficult to work full time, write part time, and live a fully balanced, approximately sane life. Many writers that I know, irregardless of their genre, seek jobs that still leave them with the time and energy to write. Jobs that pay just enough, but don’t take away from the specific energy one puts into writing, are very difficult to find. When I worked as a nanny I always had plenty of energy to write, but working as an editor on a literary journal was very draining.

Presently I teach English Composition, Literature, and starting in October, Poetry. It had long been my plan, since undergrad, to balance writing with teaching college level English. I have always enjoyed teaching, and I feel very comfortable in an academic environment. It also gives you a fair amount of free time. I really enjoy my job, but early in this quarter I found myself struggling with a long commute and very little actual classroom time, so I took on a tutoring job, near my work. I really enjoy teaching one on one and my students are wonderful. However I have found myself struggling for time, waking up early to write a few lines, or writing between dinner and marking. I have had weeks like this before, but never months. Even the month before my wedding I managed to write well over twenty poems.

I’ve started to become a strategist, planning out my day’s and weeks to include poetry, to create a peaceful enough place for it to be created, to learn even better how to calm myself, and focus on words in as short a time as possible. It has been an interesting process, I really believe that writing is something you have to readjust and refocus on regularly, this is just part of that cycle.

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