A while ago, I was going through some rough feelings as an author. All my life, I’ve wanted to be able to fall back on writing as my sole source of income. Like most adults, I have a good, steady 8 to 5 job, but I know in my heart that if God gives me the opportunity, I’ll opt to write full-time in a heartbeat. The problem is, at this stage in my life, that option seems nowhere in sight. Sometimes when I get stressed, that nagging thought about not being able to make a sustainable living from my books rears its ugly head. The last time I got upset about this, I was talking to a couple people about it. One point of each conversation ended up being sage advice, while the other… well, I’ll get to that in a minute.
Be Thankful for Right Now
One particular piece of advice both of these people gave me was that I need to be thankful and content for where God has me in life at the moment. This made me re-examine how I’ve been looking at the here-and-now. I’ll admit, I’m always looking forward to the next big thing. When this blog reached 100 followers, I automatically began hoping it’d reach 150 soon. Whenever I get a new review on Amazon or Goodreads, I crave another. The same can be said whenever a Facebook friend gets engaged, married, or has a baby. All these things are goals for the future, but I don’t need to dwell on not having them right now. Instead, I need to be thankful that God has allowed me to get this far.
…But You’re Still Allowed to Hope
The other thing they both told me, which is the basis for this series of blog posts, is that I was being selfish for wanting to make money from my writing. To be honest, it hurt to hear them say that. They said that other people we know have put their dreams to the side to provide for their families, that they don’t get to pursue their dreams because of responsibilities. This instantly made me think of the scene in I Can Only Imagine when Bart’s dad gives him the spiel about “dreams don’t pay the bills”. Just because some people haven’t had the opportunity to support their families financially by pursuing their dreams, it doesn’t mean you or I can’t either.
We can still hope. Hoping for something is not selfish. The only way that hoping for something to happen makes you selfish is when you place this hope above everything else in your life: God, family, friends, your own wellbeing, etc.
I am not placing my hope for a profitable writing career above my need to serve God, my family, friends, and taking care of myself. I am, however, placing hope in the fact that one day my love for writing can become a career path so I can better serve God, my family, etc.
But, you see, with careers having to do with art, there’s often a double standard involved. I’ll address this next week in Part 2: The Double-Standard and the Misconception.
I hope you enjoyed this post, Arrowheads! I apologize if any of this sounds brash; this is just a topic I’m passionate about, and I felt it needed to be said. The original inspiration for this post was a tweet by @Katie_Masters29 that addressed the same issue. I loved the fact that she spoke out about the issue, and I aim to do the same through this series.