Thursday, September 18, 2008
First, let me apologize for posting this blog so late in the day. The reason for my tardiness is actually the subject of today’s blog.
In my “day” job, I am a professor. I placed day in quotation marks because being a professor is one of those jobs that is in no way limited to the daylight hours. I may sometimes have a more flexible schedule and get the summers mostly off (hey, I’m not complaining, just tired), but one definitely doesn’t leave this work at the office. This weekend, for instance, I’ll be caught up in the grading department (unlike last week) but will be supervising students on several service projects.
Ah, the title of the blog…these past two weeks have encompassed the dreaded days you remember from school. You know, the ones where all of your teachers seem to have had a meeting and decided to give you a test in every single subject? Hee, hee, okay, we don’t actually get together, it’s just there’s a certain amount of material where it’s not too much to test and not too little. So I have been writing, giving, and grading tests until I have to peel my eyes open.
What does this have to do with writing you might well ask? Well, in my writing life, I am co-president of my local RWA chapter and, as such, I receive the nationwide Chaplink for presidents of local RWA chapters. Recently, a president wrote in on behalf of published chapter members. Her question was, should you kick out/encourage to leave those unpublished members who don’t seem to be making any progress toward publishing?
Hear the outrage I didn’t express on the other loop? Part of the discussion in response centered on the idea you should keep us unpubs around so we can do the work of the chapter since pubs don’t have as much time. Okay, I’ve not been published, so I don’t know the pressure of those particular demands, but I’m not swimming in time. I felt the little spurt of anger at those defending us!
Life shouldn’t be a test. I know, because I’m not judging my students with a 40 anymore than I do the ones with a 95. Hmm… maybe not a good analogy because we do fail students who don’t pass, but my point is writing isn’t like that. It’s a passion, not just a career, a part of who we are, and if I don’t publish in this arena (by the way, my research is cited in a parenting expert’s book in Barnes & Noble—students have been coming up to me telling me how excited they are to see their professor’s name), my journey AND my time are just as valuable.
P.S. I’m not actually that upset, don’t feel the need to comfort me, let’s just rant.