Monday, September 13, 2010

Confused Again

Recently my email box has been filled with advertisements for creative writing jobs all over the country. It is the first time I have seen so many in a very long time. With two manuscripts of poems waiting to be finished and sent out and published, I am thinking that I would love to apply for some of those jobs, but at the same time, I am about to commit to a home here.
Realistically, I don't have much of a prayer to get such jobs. I don't have a book yet, and it is likely to be some time before I do. Once I have a book, I will have already bought a house here. It will be more difficult to drop everything and leave.
I cannot stand staying here in this apartment any longer, and it doesn't make sense to me to move to another rental place, paying two months security deposit that we will be unlikely to get back (I don't think we have ever gotten them back in the past).
Since I have no crystal ball and do not know when I am likely to publish those books and how they will be received and whether there will be jobs advertised at that time, I don't know what to do.
Getting a writing job here isn't likely. There are few places (2) I can reach easily, since I don't drive on freeways. And there haven't been advertised positions ever. Chapman won't even give me a part-time job, I've tried, and never gotten an interview. They'd be unlikely to hire me for a writing job if they had one, and UCI? Impossible. One would have to have quite a reputation to get a job there in the writing program.
So what to do? Gotta commit to something. And I probably will make Richard feel worse about Floyd if I up and take a job somewhere random. Of course the places I am looking at have yoga and synagogues of the kind I am interested in, but it will make things more difficult to explain to his parents.
I'll stop counting chickens though.


Robin said...

How exciting that more opportunities are out there! It seems to me that applying for these jobs couldn't hurt, though as you say they will probably want writers with published books. In your case, this could happen at any time, so I wouldn't lose hope for the very near future.

I don't think you ought to be in a rush to find a house, for reasons Manny has mentioned in previous conversations. Why not rent a nicer place for a short time (and buy later) if there is a chance you would want to relocate somewhere else? I also don't believe the decision to take a job or not should ride on what R's parents think about it. I bet if you actually got a great creative writing job his parents might even be happy for you and understand your need to move to the job location. Just a thought.

What does R think about it? Would he be willing to support you in your dream to find a creative writing job, even if he has to move? I understand he will probably be retiring soon. I would think his opinion is the one you seriously consider, since it is his life, too.

I know these decisions are not easy, but I am looking forward to hearing to one of your books being published--a very joyful first step!

Robbi said...

Hi Robin. The problem is taxes, which are going to take a big bite out of the money I would have spent on a house! Also, by the time I get a book published, the prices may go up and I won't be able to afford to buy here anymore.
I don't know how Richard feels about it. He seemed confused when I told him what I was thinking. He assumed I just wanted to stay here with the synagogue and all, but if I could find a creative writing job, and if the place also had yoga and access to some kind of progressive synagogue, I would go in a flash. I love it here, but I want that more.
Of course, I'd be happy to have residency jobs first, teaching a few weeks out of the year in writing programs, doing the rest by email, and traveling to that location infrequently.

marly said...

Well, a poetry book is a goal. But you don't know how long it will take. I think there are lots of interesting new presses. But time. That's the thing we never know.

You're right; a lot of writing jobs have been popping up. Right now I think the sort of creative-writing-related job you might get would be one like I had when I taught, eons ago--one that combined your areas of study with regular writing courses and creative writing. If they want a lot of things, you have more of a chance without a book.

I think Robin sounds sensible about the house issue. That is, if you are thinking about the possibility of moving. And if you want a full-time job, you'll have to move. But then there is tht awful matter of taxes on inheritance. You have two years, right? Why not look hard this year at jobs and also be looking now and then at housing opportunities. Just be very careful if you think you might want to re-sell soon. Be sure you look at a lot of comps for the area for the previous year. You could get hold of some of those now through a realtor.

And I still want Richard to have the summer house in Floyd! Particularly if he's going to retire... I also want him to have a book of poems; the ms. I read was very good.

Robbi said...

To tell the truth, I just don't know what I want, except that I want to teach workshops. If I could keep doing what I am doing and also teach a workshop here and there and maybe a lit class somewhere, I wouldn't need a full time job, and maybe I'm not really the best person for a 4/4 job anyhow. I'm very disorganized, no matter how hard I work at it, and it is a struggle to keep two classes straight, never mind 4. The new jobs have 2/2, but that is probably too much to ask for someone who is not prolific. It would be better for you, who produce so much and have so much energy.
I have no idea if I found the right job, whether I would leave here. I just know I can't lose this opportunity to buy and not lose the money to taxes.
I want Richard to have the house in Floyd, but I'm not sure what his parents have in mind. Perhaps they will sell it or leave it to my brother in law or my niece.