How are writing and teaching connected?

Recently I have been going through a lot of soul searching. Partly it’s been due to leaving my job at a marketing agency and partly it’s because I have started training to be a yoga teacher and thinking more about my long-term aspirations. I’ve always been a writer. I don’t think you need to be a published author or making money from writing to be a writer – sometimes, you just are. Writing comes so naturally to me!

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But I’ve also realised that I love mentoring, teaching and helping others. It’s something that has been with me for a good few years now. From picking Madeline as my confirmation name because she is the Patron Saint of Education and opened the first all girls school in Europe, to being President of the Creative Writing Society and running writing workshops once a week as an undergrad. Now I facilitate writing workshops in my spare time and I’m training to be a yoga teacher.

And the thing is, they are completely connected. Writers are often our greatest adult teachers. We can learn so much from reading at any age that in being a writer – whether a journalist, non fiction writer, poet or novelist – is automatically to have something that you want to teach the world. Whether you want to teach people about a place they might never visit, or you want to help teenagers become more empathetic or children to become more adventurous or you want to tell adults dealing with loss that they are not alone. Reading is learning, therefore by extension writing is teaching.

I’ve started to practise manifesting this year. I had a tough end to 2018, but it was still a brilliant year and I knew that I wanted to make changes and get my confidence and my zest for life back. But as we get older, making changes becomes more difficult.

So I began simply with, what do I most like to do?

Write.

Learn.

Help others.

And slowly the pieces slot into place. Teaching and writing can become one interconnected, multi-hyphen career or a portfolio career. We are so lucky in this day and age that we don’t have to pick just one career. We can be doctors during the day, complete MA’s in nutrition, write cookbooks and run an amazing website just like Hazel Wallace. We can write books and sing in musicals just like Carrie Hope Fletcher.

The options are endless. For me, I want to teach, write novels, write freelance, keep up my blog and facilitate workshops. I might not manage all this in the next day, week or month. But slowly and surely it will all come together.

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And the connection doesn’t have to be an obvious one. I have a Combined Honours Degree and my combination was pretty traditional – English and History. But other students found links between Psychology and Geography, French and History and so much more. It’s not about the link ‘working’ as a concept, but about the connection working for you. If you want to do more than one thing, don’t hem yourself in or cut yourself off. Reach for more, aim for more and take on each new challenge knowing that you have the time and space to learn and do as much as you want to.

And if you do need that career or steady job, because we all need money to live, then your interests can be side hustles or hobbies. My blog is just something I do for fun and my novels might never be published, but I still do them for the love of it and no matter how busy my day time job gets, I’ll always make time to write, practice yoga and facilitate workshops.

For now, I’m off to write a chapter of my novel and then to practice some yoga and read a chapter of a book on fascia. Lucky me!!

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