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Encouragement, Sort Of

I told my students that I’m writing a book.

I don’t remember how it all came out, but after I told one group of kids, they told others, so that now most of the seventh and eighth graders at my school know about it. I get some interesting questions.

“Are you going to have it published?” they ask.

“I hope so,” I say, “but it’s not finished yet, so I don’t know.”

“Can’t you line up a publisher now?”

“No. I’m not J.K. Rowling or John Green. I can’t line up a publisher without having the book finished.”

Another question I get often is, “Will you finish the book by the end of this year?”

My reply is always, “I’ll be happy if I finish the book by the time you graduate from high school.”

One seventh grader asked me, “Are you going to use a pen name?”

I said, “Well, the book isn’t finished yet, so I’m not even thinking about that.”

“A pen name is cool,” he insisted. “I haven’t written anything yet, but I have a pen name.” (At least he’s got his priorities in order.)

In a sense, I suppose it’s encouragement.

In another sense, they may just be trying to get me off-topic.


About Karen Koch

I like the old-fashioned lifestyle. All this new-fangled stuff baffles me sometimes. I cherish living out in the country, raising chickens and rabbits, planting fruit trees, and enjoying a slow life filled with beautiful words and ideas. I don't always achieve a slow life. I teach middle school English and manage a little burgeoning farm with my husband, and somewhere in the midst of that, I try to find time for writing, running, knitting, reading, and playing the ukulele. And sometimes, I actually succeed.

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