Just over a year ago, I finished writing my novel and started writing this blog. Now, with the editing, formatting, uploading and proofing complete (yes, I have got to the last stage … awaiting File Review from CreateSpace so I can hit that final button) – not to mention the decision-making and transitioning from being someone who’d written a book and wasn’t sure how to get it published, to feeling very at home with the concept of being an indie author – I am taking stock of where I am and what I still need to put in order.
Obviously, I have yet to conquer Kindle uploading but my new computer will, hopefully, make short work of that, (said she, confidently …)
As part of my sorting-out-ness this week, I was required to hunt down some papers to do with my finances and found myself rootling around in my filing cabinet. Not a place I visit all that often, these days, so it can be quite exciting to see what turns up. I was hunting, in particular, for a letter I received round about this time last year, which both shocked me to the core and heralded the changes I highlighted above.
You don’t need to know the details – just that the possible consequence of the missive was the loss of a substantial portion of my income, which is pretty minuscule to begin with.
Now I am not a person who gets hung up on money – at least, not any more. At one time, any financial hiccup would signal the end of the world – a trick I learned from my family – but I’ve been fortunate to encounter people along the way who ‘do’ their money differently, and this has gradually led me down a better path. ‘Better’ in the sense that my well-being is only marginally determined by my income.
That being said, to be threatened out of the blue with the possibility of such a substantial reduction in funds, rocked my boat considerably. I really couldn’t see how I was going to survive at that point. I honestly thought I would have to sell my house and live off the proceeds – not a long-term solution, in any way. I plummeted, for a while, into despair and a state of anxiety and fear. Not at all like me.
I remember pulling myself out of this state, changing my life around a lot, and ultimately being very glad that the predicted circumstances did not materialise. What I hadn’t remembered was what I found when I went searching in my filing cabinet this week.
On the reverse of the letter declaring gloom, closely followed by apocalypse, I had written a declaration to myself. A declaration which inspired me – far from battening down the hatches and retreating from the world – to take a leap of faith by gradually closing down my current business in order to become a full-time writer.
On the face of it, this was a crazy decision. Since I was about to lose a considerable portion of my income, (or thought I was,) guaranteeing I ditched much of the rest was not sensible in most people’s books. But I knew, at some very deep level, I was being presented with an opportunity. An opportunity to make a powerful choice about what was really important to me.
I made the choice and things, so far, have worked out so well for me that I’d forgotten I’d written the letter to myself. Finding it now, when things have turned around so brilliantly, has been a great reminder both of why my life works and of one of my favourite Star Wars quotes.
This is what I wrote:
I bless this letter with love as it marks the beginning of a new way of living for me. I affirm myself as an author, a writer, a storyteller, someone with courage and vigour, someone who can defy boundaries and conventions to reach for the truth and to enable love, someone who will fight against fundamentalism of any genre or context in order to promote creativity and the honouring of difference, someone who lives her life from a place of love, not a place of fear and who will endeavour – through her work – to teach this path to others.