Pursuing two careers is a constant juggling act. My day job is teaching and I fit writing in around that (often in the early hours of the morning or late nights in school holidays). But in my future I'd very much like those roles to switch.
Here in Australia it's term 4 - the last in the school year before our annual Christmas/Summer holidays. Ask any teacher and they'll tell you term 4 is notoriously busy. Children's report cards to write, annual school report to complete, program assessments, testing and assessment of the class, preparation for the end of year presentation night, swimming school with students, filling out record cards for student files, farewell dinners for departing students (primary & secondary), professional development courses to attend, normal classroom programming and preparation of lessons, Kindergarten orientation programs, Christmas craft...the list keeps getting added to every year.
For me, the avalanche of administrative paperwork and events really hotted up this week (much like the weather). There are only so many hours in the day and I find (regrettably and frustratingly) that my writing routine suffers this time of year as I juggle to complete everything before the end of term.
Not much I can do about it - that's a part of leading a dual life as a teacher and writer. I squeeze in what writing I can (sometimes it's only 30mins), counting down the days until break-up. I savour/relish/anticipate the chance to spend full days at the keyboard, totally focused on my other passion, completing the next WIP, editing and polishing, burying myself in another world with characters sometimes as real as those outside the four walls of my house.
This year it's going to be a really special countdown. I'm taking a whole year off from teaching in 2010. Yep. 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days off.
How is this possible? It's called the Deferred Teachers Salary Scheme - you sign up and for four years you put away some of your pay to live off in the 5th year of the scheme. You can use the year as a sabbatical or to travel, work in a job outside the public education system, anything you want.
For a whole year I'm concentrating on my other passion, my other life. Writing. Pursuing and developing my other career. Becoming a published author.
Roll on 2010.
Can you feel how excited I am?