I’ve been writing since before my children were born. It’s not always easy for them to understand exactly it is that I do. When I taught, my job was pretty straight-forward: the three of us would drive to school together, I’d wave to them while they played at recess, I’d bring a pay check home.
Now, I’m working outside of the classroom. I’ve yet to make any money. I’ve yet to sell a book. I’m sure it’s a little confusing, to say the least.
My third grader keeps asking, “Why is everyone so excited you have an agent? You’ve been sending stories to publishers for a long time.”
Once, years ago, he asked me what story I was working on. When I told him, he answered, “Still? Aren’t you finished with that yet?”
So yes, I’ll spend years on the same book, and yes, I’ve been sending things to publishers for ages. Good observations there, Mister. The difference is now I hope to be getting somewhere with this fabulous new support system.
When I asked my first grader if he understood what an agent was, he told me “an agent helps with stories.” I thought this rather insightful for my squirrely guy.
To some extent, my boys get the fact I’m working, though not in the traditional way I used to. And even if they don’t understand everything I do, reading, writing, and publishing have become a part of our family conversation. They both love to write stories on stapled scrap paper or in notebooks they buy with their allowance. My third grader can’t decide if he’d like to be a scientist or an author someday. “You can do both, you know,” I tell him.
Maybe someday, when I sell something (sooner than later, right??), everything will make a little more sense around here. For now, though, I’m proud of my boys’ interest in stories, the way my husband praises my hardwork in their presence, and the conversations the process has brought about.