The year is coming to an end. That coupled with some recent life events and Jennifer Crow’s ‘Month of Gifts’ has me thinking about blessings a lot these days. And counting them. For this post, however, I’m going to talk about one blessing in particular.
I am blessed to be able to do what I do.
I am a writer, an editor and a micro publisher. Full time.
Most people who do what I do aren’t lucky enough to make it their full time job. They weave it around day jobs or other part time work in order to make ends meet and still do the work they love.
A good friend of mine who is a talented, successful, award-winning writer recently said to me, “But does your work actually make you enough to live off?” and the answer is no. No it does not.
She and I had a long conversation about that because she can’t live off her writing either and we are not in the minority. In fact, most people I know who work in this industry cannot survive solely off the money they make within it.
The only reason I can work full time in publishing is because I’m blessed with a patron in the form of my husband, who is willing to be the primary wage earner for our family so I can do what I love. Not everyone is so lucky.
So I’ve decided that from now on, on the 15th of every month, I am going to press pause on everything else on my to-do list and write a letter (or an email) to someone to tell them how their creative work has touched me, and how much I appreciate it. It may be a writer, or an editor, a poet or an artist–someone who is doing what they love despite the fact it probably doesn’t pay the bills. I’m going to send my monthly fan mail because working in this industry while living in a culture which often defines our worth by our pay cheques is hard, and I want to recognize that and offer some encouragement.
I invite you to do the same. Pick a day, set it up on your calendar and on that day each month send someone a fan letter. Tell them you appreciate what they do. It’ll only take a few minutes out of your day and you never know how much it might mean to them.
Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for eight years (which is like forever in internet time) and is the editor of several anthologies including, most recently, Scarecrow and B is for Broken. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in publications such as Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012 & 2015) and Mythic Delirium.
Her website, updated weekly, is at http://www.rhondaparrish.com
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