|Love my new 4H pencils - perfect for editing, perfect motto for a writer.|
My text to Field Notes editor, Emily: "Reading a manuscript is excruciating! It takes soooo much time. How do you do this for a living???!"
Emily's reply: "Hahaha THIS is why it takes so long to hear back from us about submissions!"
My experience with Field Notes, and with Emily, didn't prepare me for the tediousness of reading through and editing a manuscript (and by editing a first draft, I mean making notes about sentences and ideas to work on when I get back on the computer). With Field Notes, we had a very tight deadline so I was spoiled by quick responses; also, no thick pile of typed pages to sit with for hours on end.
I want to write that as hhhhooouuuurrrssss because that's how it feels! It feels like my life is slowly draining out of me as I sit in a chair in my office, manuscript on lap and pencil in hand. For hhhoooouuurrrssss.
Also this: I have written a book with a 13-year-old protagonist and my writing style being what it is, it will likely be marketed to that middle-grade audience. I never expected to write a book for this age group (my two other works-in-progress are for adults) yet if we remember my previous posts, this is the book I was meant to write. This is the book that popped into my head in late December and this is the book that flowed out of me for two months. I wrote the book I wanted to write.
But here's the thing about that: I had the same revelation about my teaching experience. Although I trained for teaching high school students, and did my supply teaching primarily at the high school level, my most successful days -- both as a student teacher and as a substitute teacher -- came at the elementary level.
With the middle grades.
I realized only in the last few years that I should have been a middle school teacher, that my teaching style was best suited to ages 11, 12, 13.
I am a ssssllllloooooowwwww learner. I'm going to live to be 117, it takes me so long to learn the lessons my life wants me to learn. So many of them are simple but it appears I can't see the forest for the trees.
I'm the worst for getting an idea and sticking with it despite all indications pointing in another direction. No wonder I get lost when driving! I'm not fully connected to my inner compass. It's like a wire isn't hooked up; I can see the way eventually, after driving in circles for hours (years) and usually by accident (or divine intervention) but by then I'm late.
Too late for teaching, but thankfully, not too late for writing.