Here I am at the end of February and I’m almost debt free. Crazy to realize this, but I’m so close, I can almost feel it. A year ago, heck 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. It felt impossible. I remember day dreaming in August and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if by my birthday all my debt was gone?” I was just dreaming then.
Now, I’m awake.
In June 2016, my debt was about $12, 700. Now I’m at $4,900 and it’ll get even lower in a week or so. (Once I get my next paycheck.) For anyone out there who is struggling, just know that it is possible. I didn’t win the lottery, or sell a kidney. I just worked, sold things, and sucked up my pride and moved in with my folks. After a bit of a shock of living together again, things are going well. Still, I’m itching to have my own place again. This time though, I’ll be an owner.
One drawback is my writing time. I just haven’t had a lot of it. My novel sits untouched these past few months. I have neglected it. Morning time to write is no longer available. My mother is an early riser, so by the time I get up, the house is alive with sounds. But like I said in August, if the old routine isn’t working – Change. I may end up carving out a weekend writing schedule and the rest of the week is devoted to publishing business stuff. I’ll try it. My work may take longer to get done, but I’d rather have something written than nothing at all.
I’ve seen how the small steps add up over time. I see it with my writing, getting my education, and paying off my debts. Slow and steady will make a difference. It’s a hard lesson to learn and I have had set backs. From getting furloughed at my job, to getting lots of rejections, sometimes I want what I want when I want it. And the universe usually pats me on the head and then knocks me around. I felt this the hardest last summer when I wanted to buy a house. The universe was not having that. Looks like it was right to stop me. This way is much better.
Went to AWP a few weeks ago. Gosh, it has been so long since I’ve gone to a writing conference. This one was HUGE and I only went for one day. My fellow writers and I sat through panels, walked the book fair and I saw plenty of other folks (even a few famous writers!!!). Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself that you are in a community and surround yourself with other like-minded people. I know it gave me a bit of a jolt to see so many of us in one place. The saying is true – Writing is a solitary act. Often we are so wrapped up in our own work, we forget to be part of a community too. Celebrate your fellow writers! Go to their readings. If you have the money, go to the conferences and book fairs. AWP energized me and reminded me that it not just about the work.
It’s about living in the world and creating work from those experiences.