Friday, April 3, 2009

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

It's funny how I can allow one well-meaning person to throw everything off. Yesterday, one of the other teachers at my current school told me that she talked to the EC Director about getting me a job as a compliance specialist rather than teaching, since I'm doing all the paperwork for several teachers. She said the EC Director is unwilling to create such a position, but consider it if I was willing to do some teaching as well.

Now, there are several good reasons why I am not coming back to this school next year. I travel 57 miles each way and am planning on moving further north, there's little support (either financial or moral) for EC teachers in this school, and I want to switch careers to a more publishing-oriented industry.

Yet for a minute, I doubted not only my decision, but my whole plan. I wondered whether I should be putting so much energy into pre-publication promotion, as well as finishing the novel. For some reason, all my dreams seemed... silly and impractical and unguaranteed. I thought that I wouldn't really sell any books or anything.

An hour later, having listened to some good music on the way home, I had calmed down and realized that my original plan was correct. I was thinking about the chorus to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road:

I've finally decided my future lies
beyond the yellow brick road.

For me, the yellow brick road or false path or whatever you want to call it lies in the safe routes I've always taken because other people thought I should. Being a writer is and always will be a risky career choice. It would be safer to stay in the poor job situation while occasionally working towards something else.

It would be foolish, of course, to live only on the hope of being a success, without a solid plan. I haven't given up on the outside job market entirely, and won't be able to until Ir each my goal. I may have to do something else to support me for a long while yet. However, I am working towards making Shades of Gay a best-seller every day. This blog is dedicated to the purpose of sharing the ups and downs of my new career path.

So I'm getting off the yellow brick road and back onto the narrow path that my company is named after. Here's a few highlights of what I've been doing the past couple of days:

* Got some feedback on my t-shirt designs from other CafePress members, and began revising accordingly. Since several people felt my design was too plain, I'm experimenting with adding graphics. I'll post a picture of my first new design when I get home, as images are blocked at work. In the meantime, here's the link so that you can check it out yourself:

* Finished Chapter Seventeen and posted it on the Scribophile Writer's Workshop site. I'm now well into Chapter Eighteen.

* Continued to make contacts on Facebook and Myspace.

As always, feel free to drop me a line about anything I'm doing or to share your own journey.