Thursday, February 12, 2004

What I Figured Out The Other Day

It Happened During a Math Meeting

While sitting in an all-day math meeting (don't even think about it, folks. Seriously. We don't need any more of us even contemplating it), bored as usual, I began to make a plan. The plan is for me to quit teaching.

"No, Amy! You can't quit!" I heard all of you shouting.

"Shut up!" I shouted back in my head, "I can't make my business plan with all this badgering!"

"But Amy! You can't quit teaching! You are so good at it! And you will miss the kids! Isn't that why you are a teacher? Because of the kids?"

" I thought I told you to SHUT IT!" I shouted back in my head, even louder. And I continued to make my plan.

This plan of action involves me becoming a freelance commercial writer. I want to be paid for something I enjoy. I don't mean paid here-and-there. I mean, paid so that my bills are covered and my baby's butt is covered by some clothes, and I don't have to wonder about where it's coming from. I mean, paid so that we can go out to eat once per month, and not worry that our budget is going to suffer, and on the 30th of the month we'll have to eat rice three times per day. I don't want that. I want real money.

I've read up on it. I recommend a book titled The Well Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman. It is easy to read, and full of practical advice about becoming a writer that actually gets paid. Ok, and thanks to my friend L., who first recommended the book to me, and got me started with blogging. She's part of this insanity, too.

Details on all that, later. So I'm sitting there in the all-day math meeting ("Fun For The Whole Family"), not listening, happy to have a break from school in any form, and making calculations. This is what I came up with:

1. Realistically, I need to make $This Amount per year to pay my bills, feed my family, and have some savings. That's with very little credit card debt, either, folks. And I own my car outright, so no lectures. Thank you.

2. I cut that number in half, to be realistic. That number is $HalfTheAmount. That's the amount of money I want to make by writing, part-time.

3. I multiplied that number by 5 years (my goal for quitting teaching) and got $5xTheAmount. That's the amount of money I can save in 5 years, if I save all my writing money.

4. I multiplied that number by .66, in order to be real about us spending some of the savings. I am now at $5xtimes2/3TheAmount.

When I have that much money saved, I'm quitting teaching. It's possible. For those of you who know me, you know I'm not afraid of hard work. If I bust my rear on getting writing jobs as hard as I bust my rear getting an education I don't even want, imagine how much money I'll make. For those of you who don't know me, then send me a comment! We'll talk.

"But, Amy!" you still cajole me,"Why on earth would you want to quit teaching? It's such a noble profession!"

No. I disagree. Nobility has nothing to do with taking the scraps that are thrown to me from a bureaucrat's table. There is no nobility in enduring the indignity of public school teaching. Nobility does have something to do with taking care of one's family, and raising one's own children with care. I'm tired of taking care of everyone else's children, instead of mine.

"Amy! You are so cranky! What happened to you?" you whine.

I woke up.

--groovygrrl, queen of dignity

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