I had a bit of financial luck recently, which has given me the ability to pull back on some of my paid work for a while and focus on my writing again. While I’m wildly excited by that prospect, it’s harder to do than it sounds.
For most artist-entrepreneurs, there is no such thing as financial security, and our incomes fluctuate wildly at times. We get used to doing what we have to do in order to pay the bills, and when something comes along to allow us the space and freedom to spend more time on our art, we feel conflicted.
We feel guilty that we are “just” working on our art. We feel insecure about whether the good times will last. We worry that people will think we are spoiled artists who simply dabble in our “hobbies” all day.
And it’s hard to let go of the sense of responsibility and worth that comes with earning steady money. It’s hard to focus on our art when we keep thinking we should be spending that time on something that would bring more cash our way.
But as I told my friend, I don’t want to waste this luck. I don’t want to take this gift for granted. Life goes in stages, and for this stage, I want to buckle down and complete some writing projects that have been left undone for far too long. There is value in those projects that can’t be measured by dollar signs.
If my luck reverses, I’ll stir up more paid work. Until then, you’ll find me in my office plotting, researching and writing stories I hope will inform and inspire, and penning essays to help illuminate life in the 21st century.
In the end, when I am long gone and so is the money I made and spent, I trust those writings will live on. That’s why we do what we do. So if you get some good luck, don’t waste it. Spend it on your art! If it hasn’t arrived yet, ask for it. You’ll be surprised what a little faith can do.