Overwhelmed and Underpaid

For those readers who are still following my blog even after this rather prolonged absence, I want to thank you for sticking with me . Yes, I have been posting but not blogging per se.

I find myself very overwhelmed right now. Being a teacher, the Summer was good to me. I didn’t have a lot of time for the “fun” stuff but I had at least time to do all my writing (novels, editing, blog and promotional stuff) related things.

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Now that school is back in session I’m drowning. In spite of my furious swimming, the “waters” of time and deadlines are pulling me under. Forget the fun stuff. There is no time to watch a movie or even a show on TV.  No time to go shopping for those much needed comfy shoes. Not even time to go out and celebrate the release of my last book, Desert Jewel. The plans to go stuff my face with Duck Donuts fell through the cracks of the heavily-scheduled day of following links, promoting, starting edits for my next one (due at the end of the week), and trying to finish the last round of edits of my latest WIP to start the submission process all over again.

I had made a promise to myself to be better at saying no. Being a teacher is a job where you are paid for 8 hours a day but expected to work at least 12 (plus weekends). And just as an aside, we are NOT paid for the summer months we are off (but still expected to take classes, go to meetings, etc…). I am stubbornly holding on to my promise but the hold has already given in a little here and there. I already “signed” up for an after-school club once a week. All the meetings I am expected to attend makes my so-called planning time a misnomer, which means lots of planning on the weekends. And so the usual pattern continues…

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I run home every day as soon as I can to take care of all my writing-related business. Usually at the cost of my health and peace of mind because I end up missing yoga classes, eating badly , and collect piles of guilt-causing laundry and other housework . If I skip marketing my book, I feel guilty. If I do indeed make time for marketing, I still feel guilty because it means time away from the actual writing. I go to bed late, wake up early and walk around all day like a zombie always looking forward to the weekend. Once the weekend is finally here I’m normally disappointed to find out that I have so much catch up work to do, I end up starting the next week even more exhausted.

I LOVE my writing and I will not give it up no matter how much stress it sometimes causes me. In the end the rewards of seeing my silly stories take shape and become actual books is well worth it. I also love teaching  and my little students who make my day every morning with their hugs and smiles. Which leaves me with this question: what can I do?

I would love to hear from all you writers out there who also have an all-consuming day job. How are you guys doing it? Any suggestions? Or maybe you just want to commiserate and share your own feelings of drowning. Share away…

hello

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4 thoughts on “Overwhelmed and Underpaid

  1. Would love to give you some tips for managing but I struggle too. I work full-time and do a lot of travelling with work, leaving home early though usually home at a reasonable time. I also have two teenage children who, while old enough to look after themselves in theory, in reality, it’s part of a parent’s role to provide support through homework/exams, a listening ear for relationship issues (while buttoning lip from saying what you really think sometimes) and encouragement to just try to eat more green stuff and hold the pizza for a change. Although these children are quite happy to lock themselves in a room all Saturday and go online, apparently if I lock myself in a room and write, I’m being unreasonable and making them do EVERYTHING (e.g put their clothes away and make their own lunch). I also have a husband, under a lot of stress at work and a widowed mother who needs company from time to time. One of the good things about joining “virtual” writers’ groups is knowing you’re not alone. I’m going to share your blog because I have a lot of teacher friends who will recognise your struggles. Sorry I can’t help but am sending a “virtual” hug!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I home educate my three children which is a 6am-midnight job (one of them has autism and thinks sleep is for wimps). Generally for me writing is about escape so I do it when I can. This weekend I intend to go to my Mum’s use her caravan and not see anyone for for two days so I can get my novel closer to finished.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you are able to get away for a few days and have some time to yourself. I can’t imagine homeschooling my kids (they are grown-ups now). I’m pretty sure they would have driven me insane, lol. Good luck with your novel.

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