I was taking a shower last week beginning the prayer over my finances. Wondering how rent would be paid next month and trying to preventatively align answers before the questions attacked my body. A sole source of income, I hadn’t relied solely on my one job in three years. I don’t have the time for another one and so I asked the falling water drops what my options were? The response was “Jessica, you’re too good a writer to be doing it for free.” The assertion took me by surprise and I wondered what to make of it.
Days later I would see a poem on instagram that I loved so much I bought a book of the authors work. When it came and I read the back cover I would see that she, the author was twenty years old. Twenty. I was dumb-struck. What had I been doing that she was able to compose an entire anthology of work in her two decades and I sat with loose leaf pages and ink stains in three? It is certainly no lie that comparison is the thief of joy.
Then I read a post today that Liz Gilbert posted. It was an article from a guy asking seven strange questions to help you find your life purpose. I read with my tongue firmly pressed against my left cheek. “I know my life purpose. I’ve known since I was sixteen years old. When did I ever NOT want to be a writer?”
And I suppose back then it was not as driven a goal. It was much more glamorous and idealistic with no concept of the reality nor the tenacity needed to ensure such a career. As is the calling of any artists path.
I’m still not entirely sure what the journey will bring, but I’m committed to it. But, there is a need to be out there. And now. Taking opportunities which are valuable in some way; be it exposure, community, collaboration, or payment. None of them mutually exclusive. I am now not simply open to receiving, I’m ready to throw something back.