John Scalzi stirred up a lot of discussion and maybe even a little controversy with this post of advice to new writers. One thing that seems to have gotten under some skins is his comments about marriage. Some of you know that I was incredibly lucky to persuade Judy Stutts to marry me. She has been so much a part of my writing career that twenty or so years ago, Mary Christian, a Houston writer, said, "I need a Judy!" But she couldn't have mine.
As for the day job, unlike some people, I kept mine for a long, long time. Why? Well, for one thing, I needed the money. Or at least I wanted it. And for another thing, I liked the security of a regular paycheck, a really good retirement program, and excellent insurance. Believe me, the insurance came in mighty handy after Judy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. When I retired at age 62, the college continued to pay my insurance, and I paid for Judy's part of it. We'd have been up the creek without it.
And believe it or not, I liked the day job. When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. So I became one, and for nearly 40 years I enjoyed being in the classroom. Sure, the older I got, the more I got involved in administrative duties, but I always taught at least two or three classes a semester, and I looked forward to going into the classroom almost every time I did it.
So while the life of a full-time writer is probably filled with glamor and riches beyond the ken or ordinary mortals, I was perfectly happy with my life the way it was. Now that I've retired from college teaching into the life of being a rich and famous full-time writer, I write less than ever. Somebody's gotta do the blog, right?