I’ve come to a few conclusions recently that I thought I’d share with you, because maybe they’ll apply to you, too. And maybe they’ll help.
I realized that this season of life is firmly not a fiction writing season. More than that, I’ve fully embraced the fact that that’s okay.
And just because right now is business season doesn’t mean fiction season won’t return. In fact, because right now is business season, fiction season WILL return.
Let me explain.
I was told a long time ago by someone very wise that anyone can do whatever they dream of doing in this life. The thing is, what one dreams of doing at an earlier stage of life may, in fact, not be the same thing one dreams of doing at a later stage in life. Dreams may change.
I know that may sound… obvious.
But, if you’d told me this at 21, I wouldn’t have believed it. I think I was 23 or 24 when I was told this. And even then I didn’t believe it.
I thought forever and always fiction would be the only thing.
I thought to focus on business would be to lose the self.
Oh, the naive things you can think when you’re young and traveling and have only a few hundred dollars of overhead each month. Like so many people do, I grew up. I didn’t intend to. But I did.
And not because of external pressure.
I understood that, if I wanted to, I could’ve housesat the rest of my life. I’d found out how to survive on super low income, and honestly the minimalism suited me. So, I could’ve been a vagabond. And I’d probably have found a partner along the way who would’ve vagabonded with me.
But I didn’t want to.
Because what happened was that I started to crave stability. I started to crave being in one place long enough that I could develop friendships with roots, where I could have a home.
(Ironically, I must admit, I’ve since come to be closest with people outside of my own country. But I did water a handful of key relationships in Toronto, most notably that with my parents.)
Anyway, when you have a home—not a housesit but a real home, your home, a place you return to every day that is filled to the corners with things that have emotional significance… Well, you better pull up your socks because you’ve officially entered the territories of big-kid responsibility.
So, yes, the pressure of finances entered the picture. But it still wasn’t even just said pressure that led my dreams to morph. I think this may be part and parcel with growing up: I began to feel deep down that what would be the absolute most satisfying thing in the world would not be to lock myself up in an ivory tower, so to speak. Or, at least not all the time. Instead, it would be to find a way to give back, and to be in contact with other people that I genuinely love, regularly.
And so began the entrepreneurial journey. Dear god, I fell in love. I realized that I clicked with these folks because, unlike so many artists unfortunately, I saw these humans had that inner spark that was made up of the same affirmation my dad had instilled in me in birth. The spark that sounds like this, “Why couldn’t you do [insert dream here]?” The spark that was echoed by that aforementioned beautiful soul who told me dreams would shapeshift over the years.
I quickly realized, too, that it was the entrepreneurial journey that would fit well with art. Why? Because as an entrepreneur, you have flexibility to create your own schedule (read: to best cater to your artistic dreams), and, what’s more, the sky is the limit in terms of income.
Income matters. It pisses me off that the art world snubs their nose most often at money. Money is a beautiful thing because it is a tool. Full stop. It is a tool to help others. It is a tool to create. And it is a tool help share creation. People who believe money is evil need to do serious introspection to look at where that came from, if you ask me.
Anyway, back to the point. This particular period is business growth season. (My business, to be clear, is community building for brands and long-form SEO writing.) And that is extraordinarily exciting. And I no longer want to dull this brightness by thinking, “Oh my gosh, but WHERE does fiction fit in here?”
For me, fiction doesn’t fit in here. Because I am an “all in” type. I go way in to the thing at hand. But why this period is so particularly exciting is because I’m beginning to create jobs for people in a desolate period, and, in my doing so, I’m beginning to see how space will soon be carved out of my schedule.
(That space, true, will be filled with my new co-coaching program with the wonderful therapist/coach Stacey Molengraaf—a program to teach other creatives how to do this all... But, in the next phase of the game plan, I will be filling it once again with creative writing.)
So this is what I’ve learned. I’ve learned you can organize your life however suits you best. And this is what suits me best.
To leave art out of this season is not to abandon art, but rather to build the cradle for which it can rest its head until I’m able to pick it up again and carry it, forever.
That is so beautiful to me. Because I see that it is close. Very close. I can taste it. And when that time comes, it won’t be met with an underlying anxiety of, “Is this possible for much longer?” It will only be met with a “Yes, this is how art will begin to take centre stage again.”
It’s the Walt Disney philosophy.
We make money to keep creating.
It’s also a business mentor of my’s philosophy. That’s why I was drawn to his program. He’s a successful musician who did this exact process. He built his business. He created jobs for people. And then he stepped back, let it run. Now he’s focusing on his craft. I absolutely adore it. I feel it working. And, now that I think about it, all the successful artists I know have done the exact same thing.
So, if you’re struggling to do it all, my tip for you is this: maybe don’t.
Maybe you, like me, need 8-10 hours of sleep.
And so maybe you're being called to learn how to build a life that makes space for your dreams.
It is possible. I am telling you from firsthand experience that much. It is so wonderfully possible.
Okay angel, if you’re still with me, biggest hug to you.
That’s all xo