What would I do with the next year if money were not a concern?
There are things I would buy (like new glasses or a replacement for the embarrassing front room couch) that have been waiting for a long time. There are home repairs I would pay someone else to do. But the most important expenditure of money would be to hire some one else to be the business manager/shipping clerk. I would turn over all that product design, email management, convention preparation, and book shipping to someone else. I would keep all the parenting stuff. It is mine no matter how much money I have. Then I would use the free time to garden, read, bird watch, and write.
What would I write?
I would finish that essay book. I would create family photo books. I would still do book lay out for the Schlock books. I would write the short stories which have been kicking around forever. I would write half a dozen picture books and put them into print. Perhaps after all that, I would discover space in my mind for a novel to grow.
So my life would look pretty much exactly as it does now, just in better repair with more discretionary time.
This points out to me that some of my current emotional wrangling is not about whether or not I should be writing. It is about how to spend my limited resources of time and emotional energy. I question the value of my writing only because it does not currently provide any money. The ironic bit is that if I could stop spending emotional energy fretting about money stuff then my life would be all around happier.
I should point out that we don’t actually have money worries, I’m just fretting because I don’t have six months worth of bills sitting in my bank account right this minute. Some parts of my brain argue this is a reasonable goal for a business owner whose primary income stream fluctuates dramatically. Other parts of my brain point out that most people don’t have that much money stashed away and I can see where the money will be coming from in the next six months. Then the first part of my brain starts spouting about counting chickens before they’re hatched. This causes the second part of my brain to express disdain that we’re resorting to folk tales as the basis of arguments. At this point I realize that I’ve spent 30 minutes thinking the same set of thoughts that I’ve spun around before and it didn’t take me anywhere this time either.
So I need to figure out how to silence the voices and use those 30 minutes for writing, or gardening, or anything else instead. It isn’t as easy to do as it is for me to type. I need to perform the same mental trick on all the business management stuff that I do. Because while I would hand it off if we could afford to pay someone, there are parts of the job that are really satisfying. And the truth is that these tasks have a much larger emotional footprint than they need to have. I stress over them too much. If I could get that piece under control, then the actual time to do the job is fairly negligible.
Why do I stress over little things?
because if I get them wrong it might interrupt the flow of income.
Why is the income so important?
Because I love the life we have and I want to keep it.
Strange how money stress can trickle through and change the colors of everything if I don’t pay attention to what is happening. If I am not careful, money stress can destroy the very happiness that I want the money to preserve. Fortunately since this problem is in my head, I can fix it there. Then suddenly my life will be brighter and more hopeful even though my actions and situation have not changed a bit.
Or so the theory goes. I’m working on it.