Ginger here. As I thought about what I’d like to post this month, a lot of ideas popped into my head. But as I started considering what I’d like to put as an eye-catching title, Get a Real Job just seemed to work.
You see my real job is not writing. In reality, few writers write exclusively, especially if they have bills to pay. Or their name is Stephen King or John Grisham.
So what is my real job?
My job doesn’t involve getting paid, except in hugs, complaints, and an occasional thank you. I am a mom, a homeschooling one at that.
I started to say it was nothing exciting, world-changing, or special, but you know what…it is all of those. I get to watch my children grow, teach them Biblical truths, and love on them all of the time.
Sometimes it’s a challenge, but I think no matter what you do, life is a challenge. Just dealing with other people day in and day out can be a struggle. When I was dealing with seven other people who didn’t want to do school…it could be exciting. And exhausting.
Next week I will start my 19th year of homeschooling, or if I’m realistic, my 24th year (my oldest will be 24 this fall). I mean I taught him many things before he started doing “formal” school like reading, writing, and arithmetic. My youngest will be in 6th grade this year, so I have another seven to go (counting this coming year).
So what does that look like for me and my writing?
Most of my day will be filled with this:
The one column is blank because those assignments get added as we read together. :) This column will encompass writing, art, spelling, history, reading, and a variety of other activities.
Instead of this:
So while some writers with children get their time to write during the school year, I get mine during the summer. What it also means is that I have to be ultra-organized to get any time whatsoever to write during the school months. Of course, organization is not a problem for me, for the most part. I just have to make my muse come in line during the times I plan to write. HA! I’m still learning that one, but I’m getting there.
You’d think that organization would flow into my writing, but it doesn’t. I am a seat-of-the-pants writer, or as Ramona Richards, editor, would say…organic. (I don’t know if she coined that adjective to describe the way we write, but I first heard it from her in a class I took at a writers’ conference, so I give her credit. ;) )
Simply put, it means I find out what’s going to happen as I write. I don’t sit and write it out in a lovely little outline. I know the beginning…guy meets girl, the middle…something happens to put a wedge between guy and girl, and the end…guy loves girl, girl loves guy, and they live happily ever after. :)
Summer is at an end, no matter what the calendar says because school starts next week for us…depending on the area school system, public school started here this week. My full-time writing days are numbered for this year, but that’s okay. I don’t mind my real job. Well, most of the time.
Does the end of summer/beginning of the school year mean your schedule changes? How?
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Lee Tobin McClain says
Ginger, you have my total admiration for being a homeschooling mom… I briefly considered it and then realized I didn’t have the patience and dedication that would be required. Kudos to you!
Lee, homeschooling is certainly not for everyone, just like writing isn’t. God gives a definite measure of grace to do what he’s called us to do. I have been blessed enough to school my children at home, successfully(and I’m not just patting myself on the back for this one–one of my older sons has a full scholarship to his chosen university), because God gives me the grace I need everyday. And there sure are days that I use EVERY ounce of that grace. :)
D K Stevens says
No children in my house, but I do see how our grown children’s lives change up when school resumes.
I do remember how busy it always got to get them all stocked up and ready to start the new year!
DK…even without kids in the house, does your schedule change from a summer schedule to a fall/winter one?
I know even if I didn’t have kids, my schedule would change some because of the sun setting earlier. I have to go out earlier in the evening to care for my animals. If I want to take a walk, I do it later in the morning, or earlier in the afternoon, rather than very early or very late as I would in the summer due to the heat.
Thanks for commenting.
Valerie Comer says
My schedule will change this September for the first time in years as our oldest granddaughter goes off to school! She is so excited. Her mommy and sister a bit less so.
So exciting for her. I remember my first day of school. It helps that it was chronicled in the newspaper. ;)
Katy C says
School doesn’t change my schedule (though it has the last couple years – my husband is out of grad school now!) but I work for an insurance agent and our busy time starts in October, so I go from working part time back to working full time in mid-September. I guess I do have one change directly related to school. I live in a college town, so the traffic is about to get really crazy. =)
Ah, traffic. I don’t think it matters where you live, unless it’s way out in the middle of nowhere, school traffic causes issues before and after school’s in session. At least with colleges, it’s more sporadic than the lower schools. I have a friend, locally, who takes her daughters to school. She said it’s been taking her an hour to drop the two of them off. That’s a lot of time to wait in line (two different schools). It makes me glad I homeschool, that and the fact that the buses arrive at 6:30 a.m. around our house. :(
Kelly Catlett says
I admire anyone who homeschools! I was a preschool teacher and director for years. My children and grandchildren attended my preschools and now that they are all older, I recently retired. In between work, I also ran plenty of carpools for kids and grandkids. I am fortunate that I am very involved in family life with all of the kids and love it! My schedule does change too though season to season, personally, with family, and other social responsibilities. But I am learning to love all of the messy, busy “stuff” and be grateful for it all.
Hi Kelly, I look forward to grandchildren, and I hope to be involved in their lives as well. So far, all of my children still live at home. Two will graduate college in the next year though. It will be tough for me as they take wing from my nest to start their own. Looking at it with gratitude, even when it gets messy, is awesome!
Kimberly Rose Johnson says
Way to go on home schooling! I could have never done it for various reasons.
When my kids are/were home in the summer is when my writing slowed down. I wanted to spend my time with them, not writing.
I hope this school years goes very well and your writing time will be productive.
I never thought I’d do it either, Kimberly. I’m just not a very good teacher. I don’t volunteer in the nursery/kids’ rooms at church for that reason, though I have done my time in there when my kids were little. I just don’t like children much. I love my own, but I don’t like the way kids get away with so much these days. Drives me bonkers. Ooops, sorry, stepped on a soapbox there for a second. Anyway, God gives us the ability to do what he’s called us to. I homeschool because that’s what He’s called me to do. :)
Autumn Macarthur says
Wow, that is some “real job” you do there, Ginger! What could be more important than that?
When you find out how to make the muse cooperate when you have time to write, please let me know!
Muse, cooperate! Nope, not working. LOL
Narelle Atkins says
Hi Ginger, I do prefer to write less over the summer school break at Christmas and in January. I also think I’m more productive during the cooler months when it’s warm and cosy indoors. :)