I ended up subbing in a high school today. It was a bright start to the day with the Dean of Students barging in on me first period.
Him: (stone faced) “Here’s a new student. Don’t let her pee. Don’t let her leave the classroom. Dial 99-4923 if you need security ASAP.”
Me: (smiling) “I can’t wait!”
I was surprised to hear this frozen faced statue of a man giggle hysterically at my response. Hopefully he was still laughing a half hour later when said student decided she didn’t want to do math and would rather ditch my class to roam the hallway with her bestie and do who knows what in the bathroom of her choice.
A year ago I’d have freaked out. “OMG! I lost a student!” These days? I don’t care. It’s not my fault the kid doesn’t want to learn. I can only do what I can do.
I say this with zero judgment, for that student is a giant mirror for my own yearnings. How often do I not want to sit in the stuff of my life that is difficult? I, like her, would rather ditch than do the hard work of figuring it out.
But it’s becoming crystal clear to me that the more I run, the less I will have something to show for myself – at least financially. And one thing I know for sure is that if I’m going to have to make a living it’s not going to be teaching. So then what?
I have lots of reasons I haven’t landed on something yet.
Working on my marriage.
Just not being sure of myself.
And, for lack of sounding like an egotistical ass, there’s about ten million things I could do writing wise (and I have) but it’s time to choose something consistent.
On tonight’s walk with Rex my mind started spinning like a top again. “Oh my God, I was here four years ago! Why am I still here!” But a quieter voice came in that reminded me, “No, you were not this centered as a person four years ago. At least you have awareness now that you don’t have consistency. That is HUGE.”
My prayer then became, “God, show me in a way I can understand what you would have me do with my writing.”
With a bit of calm, it became even more clear that I don’t think it’s corporate writing, as fun as a job at Netflix would be. And the money would be lovely.
But at 50, where is a job like this going to lead me? What I really want, in my heart, is to write another pilot (or take meetings for the one I have already written) and finally finish that musical, but…. I need bread and butter while I do this.
With that mental masturbation satisfied, I started thinking again about starting up a freelance writing business while I write my dream stuff on the side. I’m already memoir writing for folk for pay. The ticket to sustainability then becomes about choosing a niche – something I have never buckled down to do before.
If that is the case, I’m considering focusing on being a story teller/content writer. I could be the go-to gal for memoirs, articles about people, blogs on corporate websites that deal with people, newsletters, etc. No products. No blow up hot tubs or direct sales marketing. No click through SEO bait donkey dung key words to lure people into buying organic horse crap.
Basically I’d be paid as a story teller and showcase this in whatever way a company or individual wants to promote themselves or their business. This kind of niche also lends itself to writing at Medium.com and getting another book out there.
In closing, I realize I’ve been a bit all over the board lately, but I choose not to judge myself. I’ve been so consistent with my marriage and my kids. This is an area that I have not truly given myself time to consider, so I am open to failing and fumbling as I find my way.
What do you think? Would love your take. I would love to know.
As always, when I go into fear, I will remember:
God is everything or he is nothing.
Until next time,