Dearest virtual friends, and all those real life up-close and personal ones, too.
How goes it? Well, I hope. It’s cooler here so I’m feeling a tad more energetic. I’ve been up since before 4 AM, written tons of words, edited tons more, and done me yoga. I slipped to the “office” by the noon hour where I proceeded to have a long and encouraging chat, so I feel wonderful. Golly, how I miss those tete-a-tetes that get the blood flowing and make me believe I’m ready to conquer Everest. I crave them. I know, eh? But hey, even an introvert needs human connection and healthy interaction from time to time. We’re just unable to tolerate Homo sapiens in large doses, is all.
So, after the animated dialogue mentioned above, I experienced an uber-miniscule epiphany. I reminded myself that my situation has not changed. Neither the home, nor any money, has appeared. Talking about it is increasingly frustrating, by the way. What I want is the energy and focus back my muse inspired. I want the home and the moolah now, too. A lot to ask all at once? Nah uh, no way, and absofuckinlutely not! In fact, I’m not asking for enough.
A week or so ago, a few friends were chatting on a patio. A guest entered the discussion we were having about supporting ourselves and the like. Of course, I’m front and centre flapping the gums about writing and how I’m looking for an agent, or publisher. I mention I’ve recently discovered one publisher who is looking for submissions from new personal essay writers, and that she pays. Believing we were all on the same page, the banter continues in this vain until the newcomer says with some disdain, “I do my art for the love of it.”
I’m taken aback, but interject. “Of course you do. Writing is my Zen! But, is it wrong to want to get paid, so I can myself well as a writer?” He does not reply, clearly seeing me as the Marie Antoinette of the arts community, and retires to his abode. Obviously, aligning money and art triggered him, but it also forced me to restate with certainty my desire to fund myself writing. As for doing it solely for the love of it? Well, I’ve a few thoughts on that as you might have already guessed.
I write for the love of it. I remain unpublished and unpaid to date. I’ve been writing for myself closing in on three years and continue to do so because I freakin’ adore doing it. I’m in heaven each day I am able to work on my book. That written, in order to write as much as I want to, and as well as I should, I need to be doing it full-time. And therein is the crux. I have to keep a roof over the old noggin, and although I should drop a few pounds, food isn’t a luxury. Most of you know, I’m not doing the best supplying either the former or the latter. But, here’s the thing. If I stay poor, am I aiding other writers, and painters, and sculptures? No. That’s like saying “I’ll get sick to show my support for everybody who is sick.” Duh!
In my opinion, which is not terribly humble when it comes to this topic, getting paid to do what you love, are good at, and want to excel at is, or at the very least should be, the most natural thing in the world. When that happens you’re doing the best possible thing not just for humanity, but for the entire planet. You’ll smack of happiness, be free of the stressors related to poverty, and be able to help countless others achieve their goals. If, however, you prefer your “starving artist” moniker, so be it. Just don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.
My wish today is for a healthy readjustment to old “lack thinking”. We could begin by looking at places where imbalance is rife, or we could start by performing an intense personal review of our own thinking, our own attitudes, and be critical about the words we use. Can you really not afford something, or are you instead choosing to allocate your funds in one particular area versus another. See what I did there?