How your day job impacts your writing

day job

My day job is teaching. Specifically, I teach digital arts and design in high school. I’m also teaching a freshman speech and communications class and hold endorsements in history, English, and US Government.

I enjoy the work. Like working with teenagers and like teaching. The salary could be better but the benefits are good.

But in the beginning

I was a journalist.

But let me back up.

As a pre-teen and teenager, and later when I served in the Coast Guard for five years, I wrote constantly. I was pretty prolific.

After leaving the USCG, I entered the world of journalism. I was still prolific, generally writing one or more news reports a day.

But there was a problem.

I’d get home, and my juices were just flat out spent. I did write some – my first published fiction was written on the side while working as a journalist, but I’ll tell you, it was tough.

I spent everything I had writing my news reports, columns, and editorials. I loved every minute of it, but it sure seemed to distract from my real writing desires.

But it wasn’t for naught

My day job was all about words. Writing. Editing. Proofing. Rinse. Repeat.

There were some lessons learned.

  • I learned to write fast. Really fast. Even today, when I’m rolling, I can bang out 3,000 words or more in a couple hours.
  • I learned to organize my writing really fast. I think this is why I can crank out the word count I can.
  • I got into the habit of ignoring how I “felt.” My job depended on writing, so wrote I did. Writer’s block had nothing to do with it.
  • Tight. Can I ever write tight.
  • Confidence. When you are producing for a large audience every day, you gain confidence very quickly.
  • I learned how to take criticism and how to deal with abuse.

Today

I work as a teacher. The nice thing about my schedule is I’m off at 2:05 p.m. (we start very early) and that leaves a lot of time in the evenings for writing.

Teaching is tons of fun, and seems to give me the time I need to write.

Yes, sometimes my day job clashes with writing, but at the end, it is a benefit.

The word count I talked about earlier? It remains. I can still knock down a couple thousand words in an hour or two – and under the chaos of having kids and working on my education specialist degree.

But I think I’ve found the best of both worlds.

My writing is tight. It is fast. I am enjoying it and being productive.

At the end of the day, I believe the experience of being a journalist coupled with the favorable schedule I have now as a teacher, is leading to some of the best writing I’ve ever done.

And as an added bonus, my day job is providing security, insurance, retirement, and other benefits.

Blatant Self Promotion

The Shack and Other Stories is now for sale at your favorite ebook retailer. This mini-collection of short stories features previously-published and new fiction by Edward Clay Morgan in the mystery/crime realm. Explore the gray areas of morality with The Shack and Other Stories.

About EC Morgan 31 Articles
I am a teacher, writer, publisher, and media professional. A stamp collector, judo fighter, and wish I spent more time fencing. Hopefully I'm a good father and a good friend, and I do my best to serve Christ.

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