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Why As A Writer, I love Teaching


Annette Young

When I became a full-time writer…a million  years ago, I never (for a single moment) imagined that my former teaching role (for creative writing and journalism) would catch up with me once more but, I have to admit that I am very pleased that it did. Writing can be incredibly isolating, it’s certainly all-consuming. The hours vanish while lost in make-believe roles and fictional scenarios and scarily, the days begin to merge into one. While my job as a writer is incredibly varied, (I could be writing a course for a client in the morning, and, in the midst of a science fiction scene in the afternoon), it does require my absolute focus. There’s no time for clock-watching or of being bored. It’s just my imagination and the task at hand. In fact, I work far more hours than I ever did when employed. 

I do try to get away from the home office when I can and can often be found with my laptop tucked away in a corner of a local bar. There’s a good reason for this, the noise, the hustle and bustle of holiday-makers and locals alike detract from the quiet of the office where the silence can actually be deafening. Plus, I am drawn toward observing life as scenes play out in front of me. This way, I remain grounded, with one foot in reality, yet with my imagination firing up on all levels. In the same way, teaching also does this for me.

Having recently hosted a Novel Writing Course in the UK, it made me remember that every personal experience, every rejection letter in the early days and, subsequent publishing successes, are all important lessons to pass onto those who have a real desire to learn. The publishing industry is tough, it’s also more than a little fickle. Clarifying what works and what does not can help to save those new writers from months of hardship or failure. 

I am honoured and grateful to be in the position that I am. I love writing, I love helping other writers towards publication and I love teaching generally. How many people get to live the life they dream about? It’s only fair that I give back to other writers and, to all who wish to learn. Teaching is satisfying. I get to meet some wonderful like-minded people and then when it’s all over, I get to take those experiences and the shared memories back with me so I can enrich my own writing.


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