About a month ago I took a class in marketing myself and my writing. The idea was that, since the economic slowdown (crashdown, rather), I should be bringing in some cash instead of always just letting it out. Ian and I revamped our budget—that is, we actually drew up a budget designed to control our spending instead of just describe it—and that helped quite a bit (do I really need to spend $500 at Anthropologie most months? Do we have to have $150 worth of books from Amazon each month, simply because it's free to ship?). We have had, for several years now, the habit of simply buying whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted it. It's never been a long-term sustainable practice, but it's much less sustainable these days.
Anyway, I realize that I am particularly lucky to be in this position—to have time to figure out how to make some money—but lucky or not, I'd really like to continue not having to have a 9-5 office job that allows me a mere two weeks and Christmas Day off each year. If I had had such a job, I would've had to take a leave of absence or just quit over the summer, because such a schedule was completely unsustainable with the way my health was. Sure, I'm particularly healthy-feeling right now for the activities that I'm taking part in—horseback riding and Gyrotonic, taking the dogs to Magnussen and walking them to the beach—but part of the reason I can do these things is that I have lots of time to rest and recover before and afterwards.
What I want to do to earn money is write. Getting some essays published, which will lead to getting a book published, these are my Big Plans, mentioned obliquely in this blog several weeks ago. I feel that I have a lot of powerful writing in this blog, for starters, that could really help people, or at least entertain them, and pay me a bit of a salary. In fact, I have almost ten years of writing about my experiences with cancer in various places on our computer, dealing with me and this disease and how I've felt about it from Day One.
The problem is figuring out where to start, what to tell, how to tell it. I've written half of one essay so far since deciding to buckle down, and it was weeks ago. As you may have noticed, I haven't even been writing my blog entries consistently since I sat a month ago in class and decided to write. Part of it is simple childish contrariness, but regardless, the result is that I'm actually working less well now than I was before I decided to work.
I'm not sure at this point how to solve this internal struggle aside from just buckling down and doing it . . . so that's what I'm going to do.
If any of you have any connections with editors or publishers though, let me know. Yes, I am totally willing to exploit my relationships with you all. Totally.