Before I get to today’s post: I have a new Tumblr account. I’m having trouble adding folks from Facebook and GMail, so if you re-add me over there I’ll follow you back. Some content will be the same, but there will be a lot more ephemera and pictures over there.
And now, on to today’s blog post.
One of the most common questions I get is: “Monica, why do you do so many different things? Why not just focus on writing your own stories?”
Many years ago, I met the creator of a very popular children’s property. He gave this company everything he had and, twenty years later, he was laid off and his situation quickly took a turn for the worse. Why? Because even though he did these fantastic creations — he didn’t own a piece and that hurt him in the long run. Not to mention, time changes what people are into. When he left, he had nothing and was forced to start over.
There are MANY experiences like this. One does not have to stray far to find a tragic tale in any creative industry. And, whatever you think of these people’s decisions, hindsight is always 20/20. Remember that. It’s easy to criticize. It’s hard (and even a little uncomfortable) to empathize.
I am creative, yes. And, I have a lot to offer those who are willing to pay me for my talents. But, I am also a businesswoman. The bills come every month. They don’t stop. Shit happens. Emergencies come and go. Art supplies, travel, instruments, and jewelry components aren’t cheap. And I have a life that needs living. Experiences that need to be had. Story nuggets waiting to be discovered. My world. My rules.
Reconciling the two things (art and life) is never easy, but this — coupled with the harsh truth that everything we do is tracked online nowadays — is the reason why I’m an octopus like so many others. I consult and freelance because I enjoying having the freedom to work on the projects that I want to write or provide my other talents for. (That doesn’t mean I’m not working on my own stuff; it just means you may not “see” the results of that for some time.)
Now, more than ever, I feel I have to be vigilant to remain flexible to changes that affect monies coming in the door. Sometimes, it’s as easy as showing up to write. Other times, it’s as simple as saying: “No, I am worth more than that.” Often, it depends upon the day and what’s in the pipe.
But this is where the reality comes into play. This isn’t what writing is like. This is what running a business is all about. While I’d love to focus all my time on creating endless works of art that magically disappear off my desk? And the huge check appears? And the readers and listeners and buyers threaten to break down my door?
None of that happens without quality art. I lose myself in fantasy when I can safely ignore reality. The two dimensions are interconnected for me — it’s my ouroboros. Without a beginning or an end.
And that, dear Readers, is why I do so many things. Because even when the words don’t come or my technique sucks that day or my fingers stop working? There’s one thing I can count on. The bills do.
- Mood: Cold
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Drinking Maximillian from Alterra.
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Chasing cats and cleaning my office.
In My Ears: Nothing. Blissfully, nothing.
Game Last Played: Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed
Movie Last Viewed: Painted Skin: The Resurrection
Latest Artistic Project: SHINIES. Still need to take pics…
Latest Release: “The Button” We Are Dust anthology