Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

The Business

A strange thing has happened recently in my work: it has stopped requiring advertising.

About a week ago, the last of my year 12 students finished up. The HSC has begun and I'm not required anymore. Hopefully the guys--they were all guys this year--do alright. In previous years, however, what I've done at this point in time is toss an ad in the local paper and hope to pick up a couple of replacements--a plan that has had varying scales of success, to be honest. At this time in the year, not a whole lot of people are looking for a private tutor. Everything is winding down. There's a few final exams left, but outside eager new year 12 students, I've usually just cut back a little and glided into the end of the year, in which I've run an occasional workshop or found some other work to tide me over. I have to cut back on the fish eggs and the slaves, but you know how it goes.

This year, however, it was different. As soon as the HSC started, my phone started ringing with people wanting to get the empty spots. I am known, it seems, in the Asian community, and it seems that word of mouth travels well there, and I'm full. It's a strange thing to experience, to be honest. The writing side of my life has been a bit slow this year, the natural result of shifting to trying to sell novels, leaving an agent, and a little bit of burn out from having done this for fifteen years now, with all its ups and downs and things I could do with and without. The business of writing, too, has always struck me as being so much work--not the writing itself, which is always a pleasure, but the business of selling, people, and making sure you're in the position you want to be. I've had varying degrees of success in every part, but it has always been work. To have the other work I do exist and bubble along without any real effort into bringing up people is a strange situation, but one that is quite satisfying, and is what I hope eventually the writing will become.

In fairness, I probably write the wrong kind of stuff for it to happen in the same as it seems to have occurred for my teaching. If I did freelance writing, rather than fiction, I suspect the work would fall into a similar pattern, just because there's a lot more demand for it.

But, of course, I began teaching so I wouldn't have to do that.

Which means everything is probably where it should be, and I ought to buy a beret, and work on being emotionally tortured, again.

Every few years I figure I ought to try to do that, y'know?


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