I have been spending a lot of time studying different ways of making income and whatnot.
I’ve come to a few conclusions.
Unlike some of my favorite people I am just not, uh, gifted in the ways of entrepreneurship. Not for a total lack of trying. I personally just find a lot of the process and education and doing of it energy draining and tedious and not enjoyable.
I am not really a business person on that level and I’m finally not punishing myself for it and realizing that I’m just not one of those people.
That is liberating.
Liberating but disappointing. I’d really love to have the emotional/physical energy and thing necessary to write and do that type of hustle. I don’t.
I was talking to a friend recently about stuff like wealth and what that would look like for me.
What does the writer really dream about in terms of the big shiny writer life?
I’ve touched on it before, but my viewpoint has shifted.
I don’t actually dream of ever being like mega rich. That seems excessive to me. I don’t need it.
What do I need?
Rental increases to not spin me into a state of panic and terror. As of the end of the month I will be spending 41% of my income a month to have a place to live. I’m paying gentrification prices for a building with some shitty repainting and ugly “updates”. It is still in the hood. I have pictures, but imagine recently repainted stairwell where the painters didn’t bother to fix a hole that’s been in the wall for three years, the windows weren’t open so the whole shebang smells like smelly balls and vinegar, the outside lights aren’t on half the time. The place is dirty as fuck in common areas because I don’t know why.
I don’t even have direct bus access anymore.
This is the fucking hood. And I’m paying- well, that’s a whole other thing. But yeah, I’m not happy, but like most poor folks I can’t afford to move. I can’t afford to move closer to work because nobody would rent us at this level and we cannot live in a studio or glorified SRO. So yeah. In that dream life, I can pay my rent without that depth of terror.
I want to eat what I want when I want. We want sushi? We want my favorite chicken dish from our favorite Thai spot? Yes.
I want to go to the store before I go to work and if I want to buy a veggie party plate (my Safeway has these 5$ ones that are the mother fucking bomb) and some popcorn, I don’t want to be scared I’ve overindulged and fucked money for the rest of the month.
I would like to be able to afford a PO box so I can stop being afraid if I get sent money to my house or I buy a purse that it won’t get stolen.
I want to be able to afford to have a desk at a place like this a day or so a month.
Essentially, I want to have economic insecurity, not be such an up front thing.
I haven’t done the exact maths but it wouldn’t take all that much more money in general. That’s what tends to frustrate me so much.
Really in a perfect world, I’d be able to work a well paying day job enough to pay basic bills and make the rest writing and side hustling.
I’m doing pretty well moving my personal expenses and entertainment and self-care budgets out of the household budget. The rent increase convinced me to move over my phone bill.
So we know what I dream of. Pretty simple living above the poverty line and able to go out to a nice dinner with my partner when I want to or buy some shoes.
Given that financial circumstances have changed I’ve had to rethink some of my savings/money makings. Closing the lit section of my Etsy shop is kinda killing me in a lot of ways and has been fucking with my belief that I can sell literature of any kind. So that’s something I have to process.
This all intersects with writing because as I’ve said before poverty is not romantic. It’s hard to create your best work when you’re panicking about the rent and food and everything else. It’s debasing to try and write a beautiful, wonderful book when, you’re worried you won’t be able to keep your partner in the medication they need.
I’ve learned that even though I am light-years beyond the trauma of being afraid to buy tampons for fear the rent might bounce, that kind of economic trauma is still a profound thing in my life. And I can’t create when I’m deep in it.
I’ve also learned that as terrified as I get I can still get through and make good decisions.
I am not sure what this all means for this year. Maybe I will be able to make the thing I’ve been working on in super seekrit a real thing.
I might just figure something else out.
What I do know is that some of my writer dream things are in reach some aren’t and that’s okay.
So here’s to keeping myself in tech, phone service and lipsticks with writer money.
Tomorrow I’ll do a new master post on ways to help support my work.
For now I’m gonna go try to write some other stuff.