Monday, August 15, 2016

Teacher Anne?

Anne on writing:

When I was preparing to go to college and major in journalism, with dreams of being a writer, an aunt advised me to major in elementary education, to revise my dreams, and to go for a practical job as a schoolteacher. She emphasized among other things that exceptional people, geniuses, etc., were not happy. She thought my dreams even of being a newspaper reporter were fantasy.

Decades later, that aunt was a regular at my book signings in her area. She'd appear with piles of my novels to be personalized for friends and other relatives. I was always glad to see her. I liked her. I never reminded her of that moment, the moment she advised me to shelve my dreams. It would have been unkind to do that. But I never forgot that moment either. She was a lovely and generous lady. She meant well.

But I meant well too when I completely ignored her proposal for my life, and went my own way to become a writer. (By the way, I have nothing but admiration for school teachers; I think they are undervalued and underpaid. And we need them desperately. But it wasn't the life for me. I would have been bad at it.)

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