Writer Makes Money
“It’s impossible to make any money as a writer,” she said stabbing her straw into her Frappuccino. Slurping at it until the cup rattled. “You can’t sell your writing.” Dressed to impress but missing the mark she hunches over her disappearing drink. Her flamingo colored shirt the only cheerful thing about her.
“I know there’s just no way of being able to make money,” chimed her tablemate, a younger woman clad in yoga pants with matching top and ponytail. Briefly glaring at her quarter-eaten bagel, she pushed it aside – like it might attack her at any moment. Assailing her with carbs – the scars forming as fat on her perfect bum.
“I mean how many people can say, ‘I’m a writer’ and still pay the bills?” Having slurped down as much as she could by straw, she attempted wrangling the lid off the cup. The cup was reticent about letting go. Squeaking reverberations of her torturing the plastic lid filled the room before being whistled away by the whine of an espresso pull.
I was standing behind them, invisible in my mom jeans and rumpled t-shirt. Laptop tucked into a carrying sleeve and then tucked into a laptop case. The extra layer of caution because my computer is my life. And, while I can monetarily afford to replace the laptop, I can’t afford the time.
I’m on deadline and I need a new place to write. One more day in my office and I will go mad. My friend suggested Starbucks for the combination of ambient energy and noise. “Just enough distraction to focus,” she’d advised.
Four people ahead of me and this miserable duo to my right. The song lyrics, “Stuck in the middle with you,” are whirling through my head and I’m wondering if I’ve made a mistake.
“I mean it’s not like anyone will buy your work,” snarls Yoga Pants.
I can feel the negativity creeping under my skin. I want to take a Silkwood shower to get away from it.
However, part of me wants to shout at them, “Shut up! Stop putting bad woo-woo into the world. Stop talking.” I know from experience doing so will change nothing. Naysayers and whiners want to naysay and whine. They do not want to do the work.
Unfortunately, these two do not realize, they are painting their future. They are orchestrating it. They are designing it. Their thoughts have become their words. Their words have become their actions.
The thoughts you have are just thoughts until you turn them into words and speak them. Then they take on a special kind of magic for someone else to see. You can dismiss a thought while it is still in your head. Spoken or written words are the precursors to actions, to bringing thoughts into being.
If you don’t believe me, that is fine. Look around you at everything that is humanmade. All of it was once a thought someone’s mind, and then they put that thought into words and shared it with someone else and then that thought came into being.
Still, don’t believe me. That’s cool but remember this— someone once suggested to make a movie about sharks — in a tornado and once upon a time random people from all over the world looked at the moon and said, “Hey! Let’s go there!”
Mind Your Mind
You must tend your thoughts like you care for a garden. A weed will not take over your garden if you pull it before it set roots and seeds.
Just like a seed in the garden, your thoughts are seeds. Some seeds are weeds and others are mighty oaks. You must be diligent to select which thoughts you will allow to grow into words and then actions.
I stepped forward, “Venti Coffee Frap, please.” I saw a table come open, far from the women. Setting my pen and paper on the top of it, I mark it as my territory. I’m hoping to be out of range of their negative energy but snippets of their conversation float through the air.
“The publishing world is so hard. You can’t get a book published, and you can’t find anyone to buy your writing.” She said emptying every drop from the cup and now eyeing the quarter-eaten bagel.
“I know,” said the younger woman. “I just can’t find any time to write.”
Shouting out my pen name, “Pretty Pretty Princess” the barista placed my order on the shelf.
After picking up my drink, I head back to my table, the two women watching me.
I pull out my laptop and get to writing. I’m on deadline for my book and have two articles due at the end of the month. I am a writer who pays the bills with her thoughts that become words which then turn into actions. I am what the two naysayers claim doesn’t exist — a writer who makes money.
“I simply cannot find one free moment to sit down and write,” shifting in her chair she is slumping even more now if she keeps this pace she’ll soon be on the floor.
“I know. It’s impossible,” mirrored Yoga Pants.
Finding Time to Write
It isn’t impossible to find time to write. Time isn’t your lost puppy you have to track down at the local pound. You schedule your time and when it is time to write—you write.
If you don’t feel like writing, you write.
If you feel like you’ve nothing to say, you write.
If you don’t know what to say, you write.
If you don’t want to write, you write.
If you feel like whatever you have to say is stupid, you write.
If you are so bored of being stuck in your office day after day, you take your friend’s advice and go to a coffee shop, and you write.
If you want to be a writer, you don’t find the time to write; you make the time to write.
You schedule it. You guard it. You defend it like a K-9 officer guarding her partner.
Be fierce. Be unafraid. Be authentic.
That may mean that you give up watching television or surfing social media or volunteering or cleaning the house or having a three-hour bitch feast with a like-minded whiner.
Do the work. Sit down and write. Stand up and write. Heck, dictate while you’re walking. No matter if you sit, stand, or walk, you must write every day.
To be a writer you must embrace writing for all you are worth because your thoughts lead to your words and your words lead to your actions. Cease being a victim of circumstance. Own that you are a writer. Own that is great to want to make money from writing. Own that you are making money from writing. Own it all.
Be fearless. Be unapologetic. Be you.
Be a writer. Write.