Welcome back to Writing Isn’t Sexy. Last week, in my first column, I talked about squeezing writing in among homeschooling and dog walking (including poop-scooping).
But what is the deal about homeschooling, and how does THAT work with a writing career?
My family just started homeschooling a few weeks ago, when it became apparent that our kids—who are creative, wonderful, brilliant little boogers—needed more than their school could provide. The strict environment at their current school didn’t suit them. I wish that weren’t the case. I wish I could pack them off on a school bus in the morning, have a day to myself for work, and have two happy munchkins come home in the afternoon.
But I can’t, at least not right now.
My kids were miserable and fearful. And now, after only a few weeks of homeschooling, they’re happy, creative, risk-takers again. All I had to do was give up my days from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. (2 p.m. is when the babysitter arrives to help in the afternoon.)
And it has been totally worth it.
From 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. I work, mostly on writing, and I’ve just had to figure out how to be more efficient. I also find myself getting up a little earlier each morning to grab a few more hours before school starts. The weekends have becomes times to work as well, in part because weekend time isn’t so sacred any more. After all, when you get to spend all day every day with your kids, Saturdays and Sundays aren’t so precious. They’re just days.
And that’s a good thing.
Saturdays and Sundays also happen to be days when my husband is often home, which is a g-d damn great thing. I tuck myself away and work for hours while he brings me coffee and cheese.
The point is, even though my writing is precious and it is my job, and even though homeschooling is time-consuming and hard, the choice to homeschool has been so, so worth it.
I’m keeping a homeschool video diary on Facebook if you want to see. Here’s the most recent installment (which links back to earlier ones): Click Here to Watch.
See you next week.
Katie is a novelist, freelance journalist, and erstwhile law professor in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is the author of the Hollywood Lights Series, which includes ENTANGLEMENT (2015), LOVE AND ENTROPY (2015), CHASING CHAOS (2016), and HOW TO STAY (2017), all from Blue Crow Books. With Raven Books, she is the author of LIFE OF THE MIND INTERRUPTED: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (2017).
As a journalist, Katie contributes to QUARTZ, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, THE (late, lamented) TOAST, DAME MAGAZINE and other national venues. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where she attended on a fellowship. Katie has published many books on writing, including HOW WRITING WORKS with Oxford University Press. A professor of writing for more than a decade, she now teaches creative writing and works as a writing coach and developmental editor.