My Secret Ambition

On particularly bad teaching days, I am certain I’d rather teach adults. Kids can get on my nerves: they’re immature, impetuous, petty, shallow.

In other words: they are kids.

I should know better; I’ve been to enough teacher inservices to know that adults can be just as bad as the kids we complain about — or worse. We talk while the presenter is talking, forget to do our homework, argue with other teachers about things that don’t matter. Teachers are impossible to teach; we all think we know everything. Someone trying to teach us what we have painfully learned on our own — that doesn’t sit well. We are a cynical and stubborn group.

No, teaching adults is not the answer to my discontent. I will stick with the kids.

Recently, though, I was asked if I would be willing to share my classroom management skills with other teachers, and for a brief moment I was able to envision my dream career: I could go around the country  telling groups of people the same thing and getting paid lots of money to do it. Then I would write books about the same thing and sell them at the inservices.

I’ve had the same thoughts about writing.

As much as I love to write, there are days when I would rather “have written.” Once my novel is on shelves, I can write about writing and people will listen to me. With the street creds of a bestseller, I could set up workshops, give lectures and get paid to write articles about what I’m only thinking about doing: writing.

I believe that this is the secret ambition of many novelists: to write book about writing. Novels are hard to write. Talking (and writing) about writing is much easier.

I guess everybody has days like that, when we wish we were doing Something Else. Something Else always looks easier, less stressful, and more financially rewarding. More

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