20 May 2022
Had a discussion today with a new friend (she was fantastic – hopefully a long-term new friend) about writing as vocation. Multiple messages have flown at my head the past few days from varying directions: “to make writing pay the bills is to win the lottery.”
Ahh but we know this, don’t we? We’ve known it since women first began getting published…Christina Rossetti wrote to her publisher her understanding that the market for authoresses demanded a product starkly different than the one she was interested in producing – the one which, in time, made her great. Virginia Woolf knew, when she begged women writers to commit themselves to the craft – with a minimum stipend and a space in solitude for that purpose.
With this message flying light speed at my head from so many directions, I could either duck, dodge, avoid it, or I could stick out my hand and catch it. Inspect it. Decide what to do about it.
The truth is – I know precisely what I’ll do about it. I am going to keep this minimum wage job I have that allows me to spend hours upon end away from home during the day to write, uninterrupted. I am not going to worry about winning that lottery; I am going to let the fire consume me for no monetary agenda – for nothing but my own legacy, my own drive to live the life that stokes the blaze already lit in my soul. To watch that blaze become conflagration, inferno, just to see – just to know – at its zenith – how hot and bright it can burn.