I woke up in the middle of the night and realized the wind had picked up. I puzzled about the meaning of this wind in a night where no storms or weather systems were predicted. Because I am me, my brain went to instances of wind in the Bible, and how I find wind threatening, despite the teaching of the Bible. Holy Spirit as wind? Let's change that metaphor to make my hurricane scarred soul happy.
After an hour of not sleeping, I got up, as I often do when I can't sleep. I discovered that although I thought I had canceled my website, it seems to have billed me for more months of service. I went to the site, tried to cancel my account, and wrote some e-mails to be sure. Will it be canceled? Who knows. At some point, the credit card company will take care of it, if I keep getting erroneously billed.
As the wind howled, I thought about all the ways I have tried to make my way as a writer in the world: build a website, develop a presence on various social media sites, try to publish everywhere, try to have a series of readings/presentations, slog, slog, slog. Because it was the middle of the night, I wondered if I could have done anything differently, even though I know the stats about sales and who is making a living from their writing (not very many people).
And if we're being honest, in many ways, I'm glad I'm not relying on any of my creative endeavors to pay the bills. I am astonished at the ways that people hustle to try to sell their work, and I know all the ways that the various hustles would be hard for me. And statistically, it's hard these days to sell enough work to pay the bills. Lots of people out there competing for fewer readers. I'm glad that I can write what I want to write without worrying about marketability.
Of course, I might have written more in the last decades, had my finances depended on it.
Now it is time to turn my attention to more mundane tasks: the eating of porridge, the getting ready for church. I bought oatmeal on sale yesterday: 2 pounds, 10 oz. of store brand oatmeal for $5.84, down from $8.84. Yes, for oatmeal. In the past, the most I have ever paid for that size container of oatmeal, for a name brand, was $3.50, when the store brand that cost $2.70 was sold out.
In some ways, that's still a cheap price for a product that will make many breakfasts. I bought salmon for $8-ish a pound, which is the same price I've always paid for salmon. There are many things that I don't understand about our current state of inflation. Salmon should cost more than it does, while oatmeal should cost less--in terms of what it takes to produce the food, to transport the food, to pay the workers along the way.
There are many reasons why I'm glad I'm not relying on my creative output to pay the bills, and many reasons why I worry that my other options to pay the bills may be going the same direction. But for now, let me not worry too much about geopolitical winds I can't control. Let me eat my very pricy porridge and hope for the best.