Teaching, Writing, Autism

Last year I moved on from ‘I want to be a writer’ to ‘I am a writer’, not due to anything suddenly being published but due to the fact that I write. Also partly due to the fact that with the help of Quiet Mike I’ve actually deliberately given some writing to someone else for them to read. This was actually quite a thing for me since I seem not to have gotten over being precious about my writing (my artwork yes but apparently my writing is rather close to my heart…which is a bit of a problem). Next stop is being an author (ever the optimist!)

Last year I didn’t have much in the way of paid work – M-i-L told me she was impressed with the amount I budget and am able to function on very little. Well a lot of that is down to The Jellicle et al being incredibly generous but some of is down to good budgeting and last year was about the lowest I can go. I was really getting close to the wire. Then Imp found me a job and suddenly I discovered that I was giving rather a lot more of my income to charity than I’d realised (percentage-wise I mean), so I probably wasn’t all that badly off. I just should have stopped my charitable donations. In anycase I’m trying to build some degree of savings and pay off my debts so I’m attempting to live off the same as last year but with an income of somewhat more. Partly this is because this is the first year that I won’t get a tax rebate and I’ve been using them to pay my National Insurance contributions so I have to figure out how to do that as well as everything else.

The good thing about the lack of paid work was the fact that I became creative again, this is partly down to a lifting in the Melancholy which I think was also down to the improvement in my physical health. So now, I’m faced with a decision. The support work is great, in some ways it’s very close to teaching and apparently in a one to one situation I am very good at teaching. Or at least I am with kids with autism but teaching takes a lot of my brain and I’m in a situation where I’m writing regularly. I hated giving up teaching because I missed it and I’ve just been given an opportunity to increase my support work hours by teaching. This would significantly improve my financial situation and so obviously I’m tempted to do it. But it’s not a short term offer, it’s long term and I don’t want to do it. I also do want to do it. I feel guilty for wanting to continue with my writing because my head has put it in the section labelled ‘things I like doing’ and obviously they aren’t at all worthwhile if I’m enjoying them. I feel guilty about wanting to teach because if I am taking my writing seriously then I need to put that first.

I can’t make the writing worthwhile though without keeping going. In some ways it feels like some sort of reprieve, I’ve been given a chance to teach. In other ways it feels like some sort of temptation away from writing. Last year I wouldn’t have been able to make this choice, last year I wouldn’t have been aware of the fact this was a choice.

That could be the Melancholy. It could be the fact that I’m becoming more aware of the way my own brain works working with an adolescent with autism who reminds me to a terrifying extent of my own adolescence.

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