I haven’t earned huge money from my writing. The fact that I’ve earned more than all the local writers I know (and there are many), except those who’ve won multi-book deals, keeps me going, seeking to earn a living and more.
Back “in the day,” when I wrote, edited and designed graphics for corporations (which always included marketing consulting), primarily in Los Angeles, I made a good living. I enjoyed the work. And occasionally I enjoyed the clients.
That, however, was not writing “to feed my soul.” Its purpose was to pay for my rent and car, and feed my body. Maybe some entertainment once a week or so.
My life partner and I made tremendous changes, both professionally and personally, when we moved to Sedona, Arizona, six years ago. She quit smoking. I quit prostituting myself for any online opportunity that promised money. She insisted. She wrote it on a Post-It note. Yellow. Still thumb-tacked to my office bulletin board:
SUSTAINS YOUR SOUL
It wasn’t a threat. It was a strong admonition.
Do what sustains your soul.
You will not be successful
(therefore I will never get to retire)
and you will not be happy
(therefore I will not be happy)
until you stop all other nonsense
and do what
(How fortunate I am to have a partner who doesn’t just ‘support’ my inner self, but insists I do also is another episode in the blog. Yes, I am truly blessed and thank God-Goddess-All-that-Is every single day for this wonderful person.)
What nourishes you?
I am not a proponent of doing what you love and ‘hoping’ the money will follow. If what you do is good, people will pay you for it. If you ask them. Or tell them. Or beg them. Bribery also works. (They won’t pay you if they don’t even know you’re doing it!)
Begging, borrowing and bribing without serving that which sustains you is greater foolishness.
I’m still learning this. I have many irons in the fire. Many interests. Forty-four domain names with one registrar, according to a call I received today. I keep pruning, trimming, adding, growing, pruning something else, adding something else – in that meandering human journey of following my heart. The best choices I’ve ever made have been the people I insisted on bringing into my life – or barging into their lives!
Now it’s the writing.
What shall I write? Do I care? I get to use words, and then delete them, edit them, refine them, learn to use better ones, blush over embarrassing ones I used before I knew what I know now, and dust myself off and go forward…writing again.
I like the keyboard. It took much practice to get over being distracted by the buzz of my IBM Selectric typewriter in the 70s. (I would turn it off while I thought, then turn it on and type quickly.) Now I cannot write by hand, because my thoughts flow in deep torrents and my pen is tied to the surface of the earth.
Admittedly, I’m still learning, following, meandering, thinking, praying, hoping, wishing, confiding, correcting, editing and writing, writing, writing.
What sustains your soul? Tell me: