I Should Be Grading Papers

When I began this blog I promised myself not to whine about my tribulations as a writer. I don’t have an agent anymore, my novel isn’t a bestseller, I have to work as a teacher to support myself, etc. Poor me. Given the tragedy and hardship many people face daily, nobody is going to care that some whiny writer has to grade several dozen freshman essays when she would rather be writing her novel.

So instead I’m going to remind myself that my situation is largely a result of my own choices.

For quite a few years, I wrote everyday while also teaching. My work week averaged somewhere between 60 and 70 hours. I accomplished a lot but had no time to spend with friends and no interests outside of reading and writing fiction. Then one day I remembered I was mortal and pictured myself on my deathbed with no memories except words on a computer screen. A bleak prospect. Now I have time for coffee with friends, for riding my horse and playing Scrabble, for just hanging out with my husband.

After I retire eighteen months from now, I’ll have more time for writing. Maybe I could retire sooner if I weren’t supporting the horse, if I had less fondness for clothes and handbags, if I gave up traveling to California and Utah (so what if I never see my family and friends who live far away). But I would have missed out on some amazing experiences. I watched blue whales frolicking off the coast of Long Beach and spent a weekend in an idyllic park called Crystal Cove. I met siblings that I otherwise never have known.
I feel much better about facing that pile of essays – but not now. The Charleston Scrabble Club meets today, and I want to see my friends.

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