Alumni Answers: Writing!

Alumni Answers: Writing!

Dear Wendy,

Is it feasible to become both a high school English teacher and a writer? If so, how, and would you have any advice for me on doing so? (Grace)


Dear Grace,

I am not sure if you mean a creative writer or a freelance writer; however, the answer is the same. It is absolutely feasible to become a high school English teacher and a writer. I personally know several English teachers who write poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, some of whom publish and are paid for their work regularly. I also know many freelancers who work traditional jobs until their freelance writing can bring in a replacement income. The key is to target the right kind of clients. You will not be available for day time calls most of the year. I suggest looking at resume writing, cover letters, professional bios, and speech writing. These are writing services offered to people who also work and cannot talk during the day, or prefer weekend calls. Additionally, you can work two to four hours in the evening or two hours in the early morning if you target a different time zone. I live in Texas, but work with numerous clients in California, Washington DC and the Midwest. This allows me to schedule calls around class time and children.

My biggest piece of advice is to build your business in the summer months so that you know what kind of workload you will face during the school year. There is a chapter or two on this very topic in Peter Bowerman’s book, The Well Fed Writer. Additionally, look for a book titled 102 Ways to Make Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less. It will give you numerous ideas on where to find small writing projects that you can handle while working full time.

Wendy R. (English), Self-employed Writer

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