Over the years, I’ve gotten to have small tastes of the life I want, a life of writing, traveling, and promoting. This past weekend reconfirmed that I need to be doing this full-time for my physical and mental health. Fifteen years in the grind of education has worn me to a nub, and I’m coasting through this final semester on fumes. However, ETSU-Con rejuvenated my spirit somewhat. Conventions usually do that for me because I get to be around other creative people, enthusiastic fans, and like-minded folks. No matter how hard I work over the course of the weekend, I leave the convention feeling revived internally.
Leaving that show and returning to the college this week has not been easy. Over the weekend, I was treated like someone important by the staff of the show. Here at the college, I’m just a cog in the machine. There, I got to talk fiction and storytelling, offering two seminars on creative writing. Here, I’m going over thesis statements and synthesis for the millionth time. There, my life felt meaningful and fulfilling. Here, my presence is mostly met with glazed-eye apathy. At the very least, I know my decision to get out of education is the right one, but a lot of things still have to go right to be able to write and promote full-time. Please, keep your fingers crossed for me over the next couple of months.