As I was sitting in my office this afternoon, eating cashew chicken for lunch and playing solitaire, a startling thought zapped me: What if I've worked with kids so many years because I want to somehow undo my own childhood? Make it all better?
What if that's the reason children figure so prominently in most of my stories? Especially children who have survived traumatic events?
A few years ago, I was frustrated with a fellow author whose work always involved alcoholic law enforcement protagonists. I asked him when he was going to write something new, and he said, "When I'm done writing about this."
I totally agree that writing is great therapy, and it's free.
It's also the hardest fun work or the funnest hard work I've ever done. Wish it was my main work. However, one does need a day job to cover the addiction's expenses: electricity to run the computer, ink for the printer, food for the writer, and other such necessities.
I've been considering leaving my current job and going somewhere else. Somewhere kid-free. After all, I've been caring for children since I was a child myself; large family, lots of cousins. Maybe I'm done trying to fix the past. Maybe it's time to live forward.