Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Those Who Can't Make Money Writing Teach Writing

Today is my first foray in a long time into the world of teaching. Many of my colleagues from my MFA program took the undergrad route, and most of them are teaching freshman comp 101. I chose to go the adult/continuing ed path, since that was the basis of my teaching experience. The upside is that you get to teach what you want if the program agrees to list your class. The downside is that the class depends on enrollment. If not enough people sign up, you don't teach it.

I'm finding this out the hard way with a couple schools that listed my courses and hardly anyone enrolled. There's a lot more salesmanship that goes into pitching a continuing ed class. You have to make it sound like a one-day conference at the Ramada Inn. "Write That Breakout Novel," "Get Rich With Writing," "Secrets of Fiction," and so on. But in most cases, you get a more interested audience than a bunch of bored business majors taking the required English courses for their degree.

I'm wondering how teaching--even part-time--will affect my writing? Often, I work better when I am busier. But teaching will no doubt detract from my writing time. Anyone out there want to share experiences about balancing teaching and writing? Please post a comment.