It's been a week without writing, and I'm missing it. I hope the habits I had begun aren't eroded in this two week break, but at least I'm at the half way point, and at the end of it I'm attending an independent publishing event, which I'm pretty nervous about going to alone. I made myself a promise I was going to take my writing seriously, though, and I booked myself in for the event as a way of keeping faith with myself. Now I'm glad; it will punctuate this enforced absence from writing, and hopefully inspire me to jump right back into my routines!
Which brings me to another thorny issue, which may never materialise. I'm potentially going to be offered two extra days teaching work, as supply in a very local school. It would be a totally different experience to where I am now; 18 children in a mixed age (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) class in a village primary, as opposed to 54 Reception children being team-taught in a town-based infant school. When I'd stopped laughing about the ratio of adults to children (apparently there's a full time TA, so nine children to one adult) I felt quite excited about the opportunity - the first time I've felt fizzy about teaching in quite a while.
Don't misunderstand - I love my work. But the admin side gets me down, and there are some dynamics in my current school which sometimes make the part I love - teaching - very stressful and not so much fun. So I think this could boost my confidence; give me chance to develop professionally. It would bring in a little extra cash for the extension (or the new car - Ste's has begun to sound like it swallowed a hammer), just at the right time - the supply work would be regular but only for five weeks. Most importantly, it would get me known as a teacher in another local school. I work forty-five minutes from home at the moment, which seemed like nothing once, but ten years on there are three little children clock-watching for me to get home, evening meetings that seem like a burden because of the drive, and prices at the petrol station that sound like a bad joke, till you actually have to pay them. So the idea of moving to a school nearer home is appealing, and this could be a way in.
So what's the problem? I don't know what to do about childcare - Mum can't do any more, and other people have volunteered, but I'm not sure it's fair, and there isn't time to find a child-minder. And after all, it may be only for five weeks, but they are five weeks of my children growing that I will never get back, and it's my last year with the four year old before he goes to school. I'm already so busy - I don't know where I'd fit it in - though it is temporary. And... it might be great for my teaching career, but do I want a teaching career? I know writers are told a day job is a good idea even if you have some success. And my current novel is about a teaching related issue - my work can be exploited for some great stories. But it comes back to that promise. If I take this supply work on, it's money in the bank, but there'll be no words added to the book for five more weeks. It feels like a test of how serious I am about writing! Yet, a break wouldn't kill my story, and would give me fresh eyes - if it had come at the end of the revision I'm in the middle of, it might even have been a welcome distraction while the whole thing cooked some more.
What a dilemma...and I may not even be offered it, then all this wondering will have wasted mental energy that could have been directed elsewhere!