Thursday, January 13, 2011

Teaching, Writing, Publishing

So the three are supposed to be in eternal conflict, I realize. How much time do I spending writing (duh - as much as I can), trying to publish (crucial, right?), and teaching (my passion/my paycheck)? Last semester the three dovetailed nicely and I have my nonfiction workshop at Whidbey Writers Workshop to thank. Sort of. I was afraid, as all writing teachers are secretly afraid, that teaching would sap all my energy. I was simultaneously afraid that I had demanded too much of the students - a complete draft or revision every week of the semester. So I decided I had to keep up. I had to submit a complete draft or revision of an essay to myself and/or to an editor every single week. The rule worked well because it kept me writing, and also because it kept me from fretting over creating a masterpiece every time I sat down to write. The results: 8 essays in 16 weeks. Seven of which have been published or accepted for publication. Here's one from the current issue of Mountain Gazette: