Theory Vs Reality The Artist Ruminating on Money

I’m dealing with some shit, a pile of it and it’s got me thinking.

I’ve been studying and researching for a project I’d really like to launch this year. I’ve been pricing cameras, querying some folks, doing a shitload of math.

In theory, said Super Seekrit project could be amazing.

In theory, my recent study of business and whatnot would start paying off in 3-5 months or so.

In theory my savings schemes would flower into a delicious little blossom made of cash and I would be able to pay for Super Seekrit Project materials and start it happening.

In reality.

Including freelance and book sales I made about 5K less than I did last year.

That makes me feel like the worst bread winner ever.

I am going to be spending almost half of my income to have a place to live. I’m trying to process paying nice place to live prices for where I live.

I’m thinking about my seemingly gangster at the time decision to go to AWP and feeling like it was a fuck up. I’m going still, I’ve come too far with the gifts and fundraising to not go. But I booked zero readings. And am very, uh, uncertain about being able to sell enough little zines of printed stuff that nobody wanted to buy in eformat for less money.

In theory (as in, my self image) says that I can do the 12 hour day job days (all in with my commutes), get home. Work on writing stuff until 2-4 AM. Eat, bathe, sleep by 6 up by 10 AM and be fine.

I used to be that person.

I’m not anymore. Reality says that my fatigue and other health issues both mental and physical aren’t things I can just put my head down and bull through.

Reality tells me that my Super Seekrit project could be SO fucking cool and satisfying to me on a deep level, but, but but but- given how things have shifted in my life, could I really get into it and make it great?

I don’t know.

On one hand, I can crunch the available data and make a dry decision. Fuck the Etsy shop for my writing, Super Seekrit Project on the back burner, I can redo my budget- those decisions I can make dry. No blood.

On the other hand the wet decisions aren’t so easy. Is this another year I stare longingly at poems and don’t do a real chapbook? Am I going to regress in how I deal with the emotional impact of poverty shame? How much do I push? What do I sacrifice to try and make that money?

The cognitive dissonance involved in knowing I’m doing some really great work, but that doing it is a detriment to me bringing in more monies is hard.

Knowing that continuing to write what the fuck I want is a detriment to my bank account.

Understanding myself and how I work and produce the best work I can is a detriment to my bank account.

And I don’t like that shit.

I dunno.

At the moment I’m okay. Emotionally speaking I’m a little dull because of my two months of anxiety hell. I feel the weight but I’m calmish. I know how to do this part. I know how to hustle and grind.

I suppose most of this is my need to document and disclose. Y’all this shit ain’t a room of her own.

Now a little promo.

If you want to buy some lit, go on and get it at my etsy shop. Add everything to your cart and use the coupon code WORDSWORDSWORDS to get a lil tasty discount. Keep your eye out for crocheted items, later this year some jewelry.

My AWP fundraiser is still going and has been updated with some news and what else I still need. If you are gonna be there, keep your eye out for me I will have some lil fiction zines in my purse for sale and if the stars align a card reader in case you don’t have cash.

What else?

Not much else my friends. I’m working like a motherfucker.

I’ve been hiding from most of my friends, which isn’t cool, but most of them understand the level of my anxiety and not okayness.

I am figuring it out. Modifying some of my bucketlist arty shit so I can do it and not want to die in a month because I’ve burned myself out.

Now I love you all. I hope all your arty endevours and bucketlist shit is happening.


One thought on “Theory Vs Reality The Artist Ruminating on Money

  1. This post makes me sad. So I won’t harp on that sadness. I will tell you this Shannon. I just downloaded a copy of Flash Fiction Magazine and your story “Stars in Her Hair” was the first one. It was amazing. IS amazing. You have a gift. Seriously. I am not a “reader” by any means, although I do like to read when I can calm my mind down from my music creations and family obligations to actually be able to pay attention. Your story was so brilliantly written that I had to find you (not in a creepy way, of course). I searched the Flash Fiction Magazine Facebook page. Then googled and came to this WordPress site. I’m happy to have found your “homebase” and will check in from time to time to see how you are doing on your journey.

    You got this! I’m on your side – keep on Keepin’ on!

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