About two years ago, I paid off the last of my graduate school bills. I got my Masters in May 2015 and for two years I sacrificed and worked to pay the degree off. It was tough, but I had paid off debt before (my undergrad degree and my car), so I knew I could do it.
Two years later, I’m still consumer debt free. I do have a mortgage, so I don’t consider myself totally out of debt. It hasn’t been hard, I love being debt free. There is no part of me that wants to go out and charge up my cards, or make any other foolish money decisions.
Because of the freedom I have now. I can spend my money on the now (regular monthly bills) and the future (savings & retirement), instead of the past.
But paying off debt also gave me something else. It reminded me that doing something long-term, eventually pays off. I had forgotten about that side effect.
Writing can sometimes be lonely and isolating. But sticking with a long-term project like a novel, or a collection of stories will eventually pay off. For me, just knowing that I did something empowers me. I’ve written novels before and they didn’t sell. No one wanted them. However, knowing that I could do it gave me the confidence to write more. Sooner or later, I’m going to write a novel that sells.