Closing the book on the book?
Women entrepreneurs are my day job. I council them, I console them, I cheer their successes and commiserate their failures. I listen to them. And in the end, I sell them space in a trade show.
I’m really good at my job. Because I was them. Once.
Last April, after a long, dry spell of no productions, slumping book sales, no income, and few prospects on the horizon I was forced to take a personal inventory of my self-employed artistic aspirations. Add in the shifting state of the publishing and filmmaking industries, my credit card balance, and all my other bills. My future, I had to admit, looked bleak. So I did what I had to do.
I found regular employment. I now commute wearing J. Crew separates, attend staff meetings, and watch Monday morning motivational videos. Weirdly, I kind of dig all this. I also get out to other trade shows and business events, and that’s where I often find myself scribbling down any funny tidbits of overheard banter (because you just never know when those gems might come in handy) (guess I’m still writer at heart).
Yet there’s no more of the freestyle, cowboying, shoot-for-the-stars-or-die-trying bravado left in me. Writing professionally is something that I used to do. I’m making decent wages now. Less than I made in my production/publishing gigs, but more overall.
Do I miss my old feast-or-famine artist’s life?
The truth is yes. Sometimes I do. In those moments, just like magic, my office line rings and I’m catapulted into another woman’s uncertain future. I council, I console, I cheer, and I listen…. because even if I’m not traveling her path anymore, I still relate to her. I just don’t want to be her anymore.
After taking the last two decades to pursue creative ambitions, is it wrong to want security?