Like most writers, I have a day job. I’m a tutor. I’m a tutor who’s been told that summer vacation is starting to roll its ugly head around the corner.
When I was in college, summer vacation was a time of jubilation. It was a few months spent drinking, going wild, and having sex with a couple of Swedish blondes who knew few English words and had fewer clothes. Of course, that was all on my summer to-do list. Nevertheless, it was a time that I could relax from being under the thumb of my professors.
Now that I’m older, summer vacation is an enemy to me. It’s the Vader to my Skywalker, the Khan to my Kirk, the Mandarin to my Tony Stark. Time off? Sure. Time paid? No. Screw relaxation. I want the sweet green, and you do too.
So how does a writer deal with the months of famine? Tighten thy belt and prepare to lose at least ten pounds. Personally, I think going crazy with boredom is the bigger concern. This is my first summer out of school. I was in grad school during the summer months, and even during a few years in college, so for me having time on my hands is a feeling I’m getting used to.
On the other hand, writers could seize this free time with both claws. Think about it. During the school year, I’ll sometimes come home from tutoring sessions feeling so wiped that I can barely put together a grocery list, let alone a complete sentence. With summer rolling around, I’ve got days, weeks, of free time in which I can devote just about all of my energy to writing, to submitting stories, to hopefully getting something published, and maybe even getting paid for it.
If you’re a teacher and this is your first summer as a writer, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. You’re not going to be living the life of Frank Castle. Hell, you’re not doing that even when the paycheck’s rolling in.
I don’t know. I guess I’m just trying to help keep the educator summertime suicide rate low.