As a teacher, summer is a sacred time dedicated to sleep and emotional healing. Without said healing, it is impossible to have the optimism necessary to approach a new school year full of hope. To be more specific, if you open your classroom doors on that first day of fall and are already thinking of your students
Today I slept until noon and, in order to not feel like a total slob, did put on clean clothes including a bra. Why? Well, I hope to be productive with writing today and actually being dressed helps me NOT play World of Warcraft because I am a serious author. Right? Right.
I also now have slightly more than a month to prepare for Romance Writer's of America's national convention. I am financially blessed that this year is in San Diego, just an hour or so away. This means instead of it being a $2000 or more commitment, it's only (only! Oy vey) $500ish. This does not mean I get to slack. No, sir. I am on my home field and need to kick some pitching-my-books butt this year. I did not attend RWA15 in New York last year for financial and emotional reasons (there's only so many times you can smile and keep a professional-yet-creative face on while you get rejected). I spent the summer piddling around with different writing ideas but not really writing forward. A lot of false starts and revisions. This summer I am going to be a writing machine. I know the stories are in me, I just have to convince myself that I can really write them.
My point? Writing, actually writing something that I get to look back on and say, "I wrote that!" with pride is emotionally healing for me. During the school year I have a lot of small successes, but many of them come with redefining what success means for each student individually. Sometimes it's hard to put my finger on and really see the progress. But when I write, I can see that word count grow. I can't wait to write more, almost like I'm not writing but I'm reading something that leaves me feeling like I can't wait to see what happens next. I get this incredible sense of accomplishment that comes from within (it has to, since I have yet to find that elusive agent who believes in my writing) that is so, so very validating. I've had this feeling from my costuming and when my daughters Irish dance dresses, but it's not the same. With those, I thrive on compliments. With my writing, I am proud of myself whether or not I sell, or even if my critique partner quirks a brow and tells me she doesn't understand my direction.
So there, I've shared a part of my rambling soul in this not very cohesive post (does that make it a horcrux?)