I may have finally had my epiphany.
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I was reading my book (on writing horror for a living) earlier tonight at Michael's Diner. It explains that many people go on to publish after taking certain critical writing workshops in the genre, and it expounds the value of having a degree in english language arts - and I effectively have two. It also talks about the value of teaching experience helping with a writing career, and I've got that too. It also talks about taking risks to become a writer, and I think I'm about ready.
My sister already shit a brick on me on the phone a few hours ago, but somehow I've got to get past all the fears, fears, fears my mother and now my sister has laid on me. I'm fed up with dealing with their fears. I can't believe that I'll wind up homeless if I try to switch careers and follow a dream, and I know I'm a good enough writer that I must be publishable somewhere, even if it takes some time. It _must_ be possible for me to make it happen. It HAS to be.
Kolecki and I talked just now on the phone, for nearly an hour, about his career switch, his investment in his education and his home, and how all the calculated risks have really panned out for him because he took a chance. He didn't do it stupidly or as a flash-in-the-pan thing. He planned things out and made gains for himself. It's worked out extremely well for him, and now he's happier than he's ever been. Hey, he's given me excellent advice before, and my sister has fucked me up before with her fears and some really bad advice.
It's not that I'm a person who must do what other people instruct him to do, but dammit, sometimes you need some guidance and input from those you trust. As of now, I don't think I can trust my sister. She's trying her best to do what she believes she's supposed to do but I don't think she's someone I can trust for knowledge, insight nor advice. I don't think she's entirely healthy emotionally. Kolecki by contrast seems to be at the top of his game, at least he's on a higher rung than he's ever been. He's definitely on the way uphill with plenty of engine power. I need to get on a similar vehicle.
I'm committing myself to a career change: I'm going to take the chance to become a writer. I'm going to get into a serious summertime writing workshop in the horror genre and I'm going to make it work. Am I getting out of teaching? If I stay in teaching at all, I'm going to ramp down to being a substitute or sub in a different district while I cut my costs and live in a cheaper apartment, and write. I have a fine concept for a novel that I ran by Kolecki and he thinks it's golden. I do too. No, I'm not going to extrapolate it here, for obvious reasons, but I think I can do this. After all, what is it that I really do the best? Other than my new titles of 'Warrior Monk of Love' and 'Unleashed Beast', muahahaha, I'm someone whom people know for being a writer at heart.
I've got to take this risk and try to do something that makes me happy. I'm forty now. It makes no sense to wait any longer, and teaching may possibly be literally killing me. I've got to end the downward slide in my health now and I can't see any better way to do it than make a major lifestyle and career change.
Why the fuck not?
So, I've simply got to make a decision on when my resignation will be effective and where I'm going to live, and how I'm going to begin my retraining and where. Indeed, I may go back to get a master's in fine arts: writing, popular literature. Yes, there are degrees like that, I found this out in my book. It seems like the right thing to do. It's time to develop my best talent some more and bank on it.
That's where I am right now, heading into 2007.