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Friday, February 24, 2017

WHO AM I AND WHY AM I HERE AND WHERE AM I GOING? @CeliaYeary @RebeccaJVickery


During my teaching years, I learned teenagers were the most interesting people I knew. I could tell hundreds of stories about the school and the students (San Marcos Academy-private military boarding school) and probably still think of more.

SMA -FACULTY--1978--OLD CAMPUS IN TOWN ON THE HILL
CELIA YEARY--FIRST ROW--SECOND FROM LEFT--
CHECK OUT THOSE BOOTS!
This Academy story made me think of my OUAW post today:
The male students lived in dormitories run by the U.S. Army—“dorm directors.” Each day the students looked at the calendar to determine the dress for the day—usually those khaki shirts and pants, but sometime “fatigues and boots” which were the favorite. One day, a sophomore came to class dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and tie, and shiny black dress shoes. He asked, "Why am I dressed this way and where am I going?” Trust me, I did not laugh. He answered his own question: "Guess the Colonel will tell me when he picks me up.” Poor babies. So many pros. So many cons.

What are some of the pros and cons of the writer’s life? When I began writing and thinking about publication, I only thought of the pros—success, self-fulfillment, maybe a little recognition, and money. The cons turned out to be rejections, disappointment, and very little money.
If I combine the two groups, the pros win hands down. Writing fulfills some need I knew nothing about. But with my first contract, I realized this was a form of self-gratification—not particularly a form of public recognition. Oh, yes, I love the attention, but in the end, I’m doing all this for myself.

How does being an author contrast or compare with being a teacher? Sometimes I forget I actually taught biology to teenagers. Teaching means being surrounded by other humans all day, and often in the evening at ball games and plays, and sometimes on the weekends.

Writing is a solitary task.
Of the two, I could not choose one over the other, because both jobs brought unique accomplishments and enriched my life.
The best part about teaching teens was watching them change. Change is the key to success, not only for the teacher, but for the student as well. To see a young man who was once surly and belligerent turn into a young man who opens a door for me, calls me Ma’am, and says “Thank you, Mrs. Yeary,” is worth all the tea in China. Wow. That’s difficult to top.

The best part about writing is that I do not have to teach teens! Writing is a piece of cake compared to the work, stress, and heartache a teacher experiences on a daily basis. God bless our teachers.

Celia Yeary is a native Texan, a former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State University, mother of two, grandmother of three, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan. Since the writing bug hit, Celia has written numerous novels and novellas, many revolving around Texas history.
Celia YearyRomance, and a little bit of Texas

8 comments:

  1. I can really relate to the conflict of feelings about writing and the day job. Although my day job in critical care nursing ran the same gambit of feelings from stress to satisfaction to heartache and to spiritual fulfillment, writing was a very different pursuit.
    I liked the alone time I spent writing and the creative process. I experienced the cons very early--my first rejection came when I was 13. But story telling was such a part of my being I could not quit. I was euphoric when, after years of submitting my work, I was finally successful in becoming published.
    I've never made much money at it and I'm certainly not famous, but there is this inner part of me that is filled with excitement and unrestrained joy at writing a story and knowing that someone somewhere was reading it.
    I always enjoy your provocative posts, Celia. You give us food for thought that just cry out for a comment.

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    1. I like that word "provocative." Sometimes the silliest thing that pops in my head turns out pretty good.
      I know we have the same love of writing and we appreciate how our lives are now so we can follow our dreams. I only hope my well is not drying up! Our difference is that I did not write early, but it did appear in my life just when I sorely needed something. I thank God for placing that on my plate! Thanks so much for your comments and thoughts.

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  2. Celia, I can relate to your post on both levels. I, too, have taught, been a counselor, and a psychometrist in public schools. The latter involved testing and placing students in special classes which changed their lives, a heavy responsibility. And yes, Celia and Sarah, it is so much less stressful to create books! Not forgetting the pressure sometimes present when meeting deadlines. Or the dilemma of best choices for book covers. And I would not forget the need to promote, promote, promote. But overall, the joy of making something from nothing---with words on a blank page---satisfies my innermost being. Every serious author can relate to that. Thanks for the reminder today of who I am and why I'm in this place in my journey. And as the saying goes, it is not the destination but the journey that matters most.

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    1. Yes, we were both lucky that writing popped up just in the nick of time. Of all the tasks that are required to be published, promotion is the most boring and the most daunting. If I could somehow get that conquered, I would feel better. I have not completed a story in months, and really kick myself every day because I have procrastinated too long. But like you, my body has not always cooperated. But "tomorrow is another day."

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  3. I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I feel I must write, but sometimes I'm not in the mood. When I am, it's hard to stop writing.

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    1. Morgan--I hadn't thought to put it that way, but to some degree the same is true with me...that love/hate relationship with writing. But carry on!

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  4. Loved your post, Celia.

    It is so true about writing. I love writing but it sometimes takes me away from my family. It's sometimes tough to balance the two and plus work the day job that also demands attention. But would I give up writing? No. It is in my soul. Writing has been my passion since I was given my first notebook and pen, long before computers. When I write, I love the chance to choose my words for the best visual power that will transform my sentences into a world a reader can enter and hopefully be transfixed from the beginning of the story to the end. If one reader feels that way, I feel blessed that I could share that bit of magic. This is the pro to writing and the reason I continue to write. :)

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    1. I do enjoy hearing about authors who truly love to write--for no other reason than to fulfill something like your soul. Now, that is very satisfying and lovely, too.
      I don't mind that I didn't begin to write while very young, as so many others have...I'm just glad the urge struck me when it did.
      Sharing our "magic", yes, is the "pro" to writing.

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