That happy face? That's me after a long week of teaching special education with a delightful 3 day weekend ahead of me!
I love being in my office on Zoom... the pictures of my beautiful family to spur me on (um, they could use actual frames, I know)... my camel lamp (to remind me to keep going with my camel musical... yes, I'm writing a musical about camels...don't judge)... my deceased father's SHALOM sign that used to hang in his office... my Grandmother Stella's old brown phone from her secretary days at Kinney's Shoes... my father's license plates that were also the namesake from his recruiting business "Seeks & Finds." I can still hear his voice booming over the telephone, cup of coffee in hand. "I seek people and I find jobs for them! And by the way, a Jew, a Muslim and a Catholic priest walked into a bar..."
My teenagers are walking the dog, my husband is at work and I am enjoying 20 glorious moments to do what I love most: catching up on my coaching emails and blogs.
My Career Angst
There was a short period (okay, 5 years) where I felt I was living in between two worlds: my desire to write and my need to make a living. As I look back, I really was hard on myself. Not only did I move up from being a classroom assistant to a substitute teacher, in the process I also wrote a second book, completed two screenplays, taught at two writer's conferences, created this blog, consistently wrote on my personal blog, contributed to Medium, was published in a variety of magazines, wrote 1/3 of a musical and jumpstarted a coaching business. (I was writing! It was just my mindset that told me I was not. Um, thank you, Shame, you can leave the building now. Don't forget your mask! Or, even better, your muzzle!)
In addition to the writing and working, I got sober, transformed my relationship with my sweet husband, became aware of my need to create better boundaries for myself and my children and navigated everything from helping my 90-year-old mom sell her home to surgeries for a severed thumb nerve, skin cancer, my father-in-law's death, several of my husband's car accidents and... drum roll... my son transitioning to my daughter (that happened 3 months ago.)
I write this not to get a big virtual back pat. Many of you have also navigated your share of challenges. I type this to say that through the ups and downs of life on life's terms, I've never let go of what has meant the most to me - my writing.
A Day Job Vs. A Dream Job - Why I Finally Committed
If you asked me what my dream job looked like, I used to say "Oh, writing for TV again, like when I was in my 30's!" But these days, while that has some what of an appeal, it's not really, deep inside what I want. It's too uncertain. There's too much pushing and networking that's not really part of my soul's DNA.
What I want, more than anything, is a chance to be my authentic, free self where kindness trumps pushiness. I don't need a ton of cash. I just need enough to not worry about paying my bills. I need enough to have insurance for my sweet family. I need enough to cover a few vacations and house upgrades. (No, my education gig alone won't pay for that, but my husband works, too. I'm lucky enough to combine forces with him and together we will get there! Our financial unified front was not always there - I am so grateful.)
Most of all, I want connection on a regular basis with people who care about the same things I do: transformation, kids, human beings. I want to be in an environment that focuses on enriching other people's lives so I'm not stuck in my head all the time.
It is with this in mind that I chose to accept a job teaching Special Ed English full time instead of floating from school to school as a sub. While I'm a bit terrified, I'm also thrilled, because the consistency and sheer excitement of having my very own classroom is going to give me the opportunity to do what I love most: write write and write.
Coaching as a Side Passion - Not My Full Time Business
My biggest regret in taking the full-time teaching gig was that I thought would officially be putting down the dream of running a full time book coaching business. I thought it had to be one or the other. "Oh my God, my second book was written for the sole purpose of being a gateway to my teaching! What a wasite of time!" my heart cried in protest.
#1 - Nothing is ever a waste of time if we learn something
#2 - God knows more about what we need when we do. When I surrendered my conundrum to him, a solution appeared in the form of a conversation with my sister who reminded me that it doesn't have to be an "either/or" situation. It can be a "both/and" one.
With delight and joy, I found a way to carve out a few hours a week for both my client calls (Tuesdays) and weekly group Zoom calls for writing clients (Wednesdays.) This is just enough for me to touch base with other women who are passionate about writing books (my favorite kind of women) without feeling stressed that I need a million clients to keep myself afloat.
I also like how teaching provides me with the confidence that I don't need to bend to every client's whim and fancy just to make an income. I have a good career that pays the bills - that gives me summers off to write my musical (my next project) so I can feel confidant telling people "No" if they don't fit my parameters as an ideal client.
Trust Your Gut!
Your gut will never lie. As for myself, I KNOW God didn't give me a passion for writing to say, "Nope, just kidding... hide behind teaching and be miserable." I feel in my gut the quiet whisper, "Commit to five years. FIVE. That's it. In doing so, something so big will come out of the stories and goodness you give you will wish you never spent time worrying about it. But, kid, you weren't ready before. And that's okay. You are now. I got you!"
What if you, too, trusted God with your writing? With your fears? With your purpose?
Do You Want a Coach?
I have a few openings left for my mid week coaching. I'd love nothing more than to do a FREE 45 minute intro call to hear what you're about.
Contact me: Andrea@AndreaFrazerWrites.com
2021 - Our "Both/And" Year, Not Our "Either Or" Year!
2021 is going to be what it's going to be politically.
Your kids are going to be who they are going to be regardless of how much you wish they might be different.
The same goes with your partners and your work.
But what do YOU want to do? Do you want to write? If so, maybe you can do what I did with teaching? Maybe this year you can keep BOTH your day job AND write a book? Perhaps this can be your year you BOTH watch your grandkids or raise your own kids AND write a book?
I would love to be part of your journey!
Jan. 23 FREE ZOOM Class on Finding Your Niche!
If you're interested in joining me for a FREE class on nailing down your niche, sign up for my Wednesday newsletter. You'll get the Zoom link Wednesday as well as a FREE free copy of my latest book, Write Like a Mother. See you soon!