Wednesday, January 4, 2012


When I first encountered advice to writers telling them they needed to be “selfish” in order to realize their projects, I understood it intrinsically. I understood that with dedication comes sacrifice.

I had no problem sacrificing my High School GPA or spending 8 years in college in order to take classes outside what I needed for transfer to a university, because those classes inspired and informed my creativity.

But with graduation, I found “selfishness” hard. Part of it was that I never actually understood the psychological impact of having no job. I didn’t move out of the parents’ house until my guy and I had a decent financial cushion. I worked, wrote and went to school for the 3 years of my upper division coursework at California State University, Sacramento.

When I lost my job, I tried to focus on searching and writing. Soon, writing was going all right, but the job hunt was hitting dead ends. I started to juggle odd jobs, just enough to slow our downward trajectory. It took two years before serious help was needed, but by that time picking up a book or writing was starting to make me feel guilty.

The stuff that was for me, and me alone, seemed to be more selfish than anything. It wasn’t about to make money quickly. We weren’t about to become secure, not like we were when I was in college and we were saving money, and socking it away.

With savings dedicated to food, bills and more I have had to change my perspective. My writing is for me. The escape, the “me time” is needed so that I can keep a clear head throughout the day. There are hard decisions ahead, and I am employing my belief in self-sufficiency in order to better my quality of life, but keep it affordable.

I am selling off the excesses of a better time, beginning sewing projects, and returning to jewelry making. Planning to sell what I can. Meanwhile I am tutoring English, and giving myself time to read, think and write.

While it is hard to be selfish when you are working toward a future with someone else, in a partnership, if you can’t take care of yourself then you can’t help anyone else either. That is something that I knew, but have had a hard time putting into practice recently. So with my mind set, dedicated to what I need to do, I hope 2012 will be better.


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