Thursday, November 15, 2007

Writer's Block Questions...

If you had the resources to start your own business, what would it be?

This question interested me because I feel like, in a way, I have started my own business. The business of being a professional writer. But beyond that, I think I have an answer to this question.

First, I thought maybe I'd open my own publishing company. But then I started to think about how much work is involved. It is a lot of really hard work, and I admire anybody who has the fortitude to try and the intelligence/luck to succeed. I don't have the dedication necessary for such a venture--at least, not if I planned to do it right. I've seen enough half-assed attempts, and blatant scams, to know how to do it wrong, though.

Second, I thought of some sort of editing service. But I wouldn't just read fifty pages of a manuscript and make some comments, or do simple line edits. I'd really want to teach people how to write. I mean, I teach people how to write now, and the only frustration I have with it is that I have to be responsbile for their grades and the actual academic setting. If I could ignore grades completely and focus entirely on what mattered, I'd be a much happier person, and I think my students would be much happier. Anyway, my point is, I enjoy teaching, and I love writing, so why not combine the two?

Which actually led me to my real answer. If I could start any business in the world, I would open a tutoring center. I would get as many grants and as much outside support as I could, in order to offer tutoring to everybody in the community at reduced prices. Given my background, I would initially focus on language/reading/writing issues. I would want to have tutors for ESL students, tutors for special needs students, and tutors for students who just need a little extra help. I'd want to have tutors for students who are trying to get into college, and tutors for students who already are in college and can't afford to pay for help--some tutoring/writing centers at universities charge.

I don't buy into the modern myth that if you could just teach kids how to write, you could reach them. My tutoring center would not be about saving anybody, or being a substitute for family or good teachers. But I do know that I've never found anything quite so satisfying as seeing a student get it. And while I'm happy to be teaching now, I really did enjoy my years as a tutor.

I don't know. I suppose I would try to make my dream a reality if I knew the first thing about running a business...

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