First off, I want to confess that I’m breaking the fourth wall here. Angie Fox gave me wonderful advice about how she doesn’t want her readers to even realize the grunt work that goes into writing. She doesn’t talk about how hard it is on her blog or her facebook.
“That’s brilliant!” I exclaimed. “Never let them see you sweat.”
Guess I’m breaking that rule with this post. 😉 I’m working on this short story/novella and thinking of how every new story feels like I’m learning everything all over again. Will this ever get easier? Will characters and conflict and just the very execution of these scenes ever come naturally?
I thought back to teaching. I’m probably feeling nostalgic because I just sent out scholarships and I’m going back to California in a month to attend the graduation ceremony for the last freshman class I taught.
When I was a newbie, veteran teachers would tell me that after a couple years, teaching would get easier. But I was working my butt off every year and feeling I would never reach that imaginary plateau. At one point I finally realized, it was easier. I just didn’t realize it.
My first year teaching, I spent a lot of energy spinning my wheels trying to figure things out and wasting time on things that didn’t turn out to be important. By my second year, the fundamentals got easier and I just moved on to fret about other things. I knew how to organize my class, lesson plan, get through administrative tasks like grading and taking attendance that used to be a huge deal. I knew what activities would give a bigger bang for the buck in terms of student involvement and learning. But then I wanted to raise the bar, teach more than I had before, push the students further from the first day to summer break.
So that’s where I am now. Everything still feels like it takes so much effort, but maybe it’s just because I’m planning harder lessons. That’s my encouraging thought for the day — It never gets easier, but it does.
For some reason, the topic of this post made me think of “Deep Thoughts” by Jack Handey. Remember? That old Saturday Night Live skit where the music would get all sentimental and serious and Jack would spout random thoughts in that were hilariously nonsensical?