Merry Christmas! Life Update!

WARNING! LONG ENTRY UP AHEAD!

So, guys, I’ve been promising to explain my very LONG disappearance from writing. I really left you guys hanging, and I am SO SO SO sorry. Let me explain! πŸ™‚

I think some of you guys know I taught at an inner city public high school. More to the point, I taught Special Education, and I loved my job. I thought I was a good teacher, and I genuinely LOVED my students. I didn’t win any state awards or anything like that, but the recognition and the affection from my students made it so much more awesome. When you work in Special Ed, you develop closer teaching relationships with the students because you see them everyday, and you know all about their lives. You get to meet their parents, families, and so on.

There was a LOT of workplace drama (administration drama that eventually spilled over to us teachers and staff and students alike). It went on for three years. We were all constantly tense because in that time, two superintendents-and-presidents got fired/resigned, one principal resigned, etc. Heck, for months, we didn’t know who to report to! They also replaced our curriculum and all of that. Added new state guidelines, school guidelines, blah blah. So many teachers quit and retired, and we were down to nearly half of our original size. I was doing the work of 3 teachers, if not more.

I was pulling 60-80 hours of work every week. Teaching, prepping, tutoring, what have you. My health suffered, and I gained a lot of weight, and I would go to bed and wake up and think about work. I fell out of touch with friends and I gave up on writing, reading, exercising, all of those things that made me happy.

My family called an intervention. They said, “Look. You are having a nervous breakdown. Stop this.”

I fought them. I said that I was doing FINE and that I was just being a bad teacher. I’d figure it out and make things right and okay again. Well, it took me a few months to accept that I could not, and that I was not a bad person.

So I turned in my resignation at the end of the school year (recent May), and cried when I spoke with my wonderful boss and colleagues. Nearly broke down when I told my students that I wasn’t coming back. I am now getting my Ph.D in Special Education and now embarking on my four-year journey for that Ph.D degree.

AND I LOVE IT.

I’m teaching two classes in exchange for my full-time scholarship and stipend and TA pay. In short, I’m going to school for pretty much free, and getting paid for it. And I’m being a full-time student learning about things that I love and want to learn more. I’m still dealing with students, although they’re hearing this time. Not deaf. I’m still in touch with my former students – the graduated ones, at least, since it would be inappropriate for me to contact my younger students until they’re 18/graduated.

And I’m writing again!

I seriously felt that my Muse had died and I had no more creativity left. The burnout destroyed my creativity to the point that I truly felt empty. I had forgotten how to enjoy life. I forgot how to smile. In fact, that’s what my mother said to me. “You’re smiling again!”

Now I’m feeling that enthusiasm. I’m dreaming about my characters again, wondering what kind of troubles they’re getting into.

I hope you guys will understand and forgive, and join me for my renewed writing journey! πŸ™‚ I have so much more writing to share, and I hope you guys will be here. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy holidays!

24 thoughts on “Merry Christmas! Life Update!

  1. I’m so glad that you are doing better. That is what is most important, everything else comes after. Take as long as you need for it. Still, I can’t wait to read more of your stuff. πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to you too!

  2. I think you were the first writer on FP I ever found. Since then, as I got older and had more responsibilities, I definitely fell off the bandwagon with reading. Popping in now for the first time in a while, and I’m truly so sorry for difficult years. I’m so happy to hear that you’re happier now. Best of luck with all of you future endeavors! πŸ™‚

  3. Really excited to follow you on your journey. I’ve known you from FictionPress for years. I really wish you luck on the new year! Are you planning to get Against All Odds published as well? This was one of my favorite stories you’ve written and I hope you share it with everyone again (:

  4. I reas Reason and Romance on fictionpress so long ago and it still stands as one of my favorites, when i saw it published i had to buy it. Im so looking forward to The Only Reason hopefully being relased soon!

  5. It’s great to hear that you decided to take care of yourself. I wish you good luck in your schooling and look forward to seeing your writing again. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Jenn, are there any news on “The Only Reason”? Any idea when you plan to publish it?

    Thanks
    Greetings from Portugal xx

  7. Please let your readers know if you are for real starting to write “The only reason ” I for one have been waiting for two years so I guess that should answer my question.

  8. Girl. I lost track of all my FP favorites when they had to go in hiding due to plagiarism . I just found your novel on my nook and am SO excited . Glad you have your muse back, a talented writer like you needs to get her words out!

  9. I’m really sorry to hear about everything you’ve been though. Good to hear your inspiration in writing has been rekindled. πŸ™‚ Hope we get book 2 soon!

  10. Please tell me The only reason is coming out soon! I’m in desperate need to know what happens! I wouldn’t have started reading this series if I had known that the next book was on a time laps

  11. It’s good to hear that you are putting your health as the first priority. I hope you are able to get all your creative writing juices flowing and be able to publish the rest of your stories! I miss quite a few of your characters and would love to revisit them someday when you’re ready to share them again.

  12. I hope you are doing well. I am struggling just like you did only a lil different πŸ™‚ you book helped me get out of my head for a while and I love that about it. I can’t wait to read the second one. I would love to know when the release date will be so I can try saving money so I can get the first one like I always tell my kids chin up it can only get better from here on out!

  13. Hi Jenn, I’m so happy that you’ve found your inspiration again. I still remember the disappointment I felt when I realized you removed your stories from fictionpress. But I understand why you had to and I’m so happy you’re getting the credit for your hard work and extraordinary talent. Against all odds is my favorite story of yours (I think I finished it in 2 weeks). Do you plan on publishing it as well? I hope you do! I wish you nothing but the best in your career and personal life! Take care πŸ™‚

  14. I check every few months for like 3 years now.. hoping u will have an update or just an answer.. if ur even releasing the only reason.. book 2???

  15. Any update at all on the only reason? I feel like a freaking stalker. I check back every once in awhile and have left comments/messages and it’s been over 3 years since I read the first book. For the love If god I don’t know why authors do this!?! If your going to write a book please finish it!!!! You have left your fans hanging for years! I never read your stories on fiction press or whatever else you wrote on. I paid money on amazon for book 1 and would like book 2!! Lol!!at least let us know if the book is dead and your no longer writing it! That way I don’t have to keep checking back in on good reads, jennyoung.com, Twitter, And Facebook.. hoping I see any kind of an update!! I wish I could pay you on PayPal and you send me the dang ePub!! Do you ever go on good reads and see the disappointed fans comments of people thinking they wasted their time reading reason and romance because they want you to give them their conclusion!! I want a conculsion!!! Any kind of a response like nope not finishing or I will one day or how about I’m gonna release it on this date!?! Would be nice!!

  16. Omg I love you book but I’m sad that the sequel hasn’t come out and I hope you are in good health and you continue with writing.

  17. Just wondering if you have any plans on finishing the river valley series? Been eagerly awaiting the release of the rest of the series πŸ™‚

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