The Rock And The Hard Place

Image for post
Image for post

Image by Owen Gent

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” 🔥

Albert Schweitzer

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

- Wendell Berry

Honesty is reached through the doorway of grief and loss.” — David Whyte

I worked very hard to establish a beautiful life over several decades and I succeeded, but my lack of practical planning dismantled it in a trice. I am still surprised at how disoriented and disempowered I became as a result. Grief, longing for what we had, resentment at the betrayal of a trusted sibling, confusion as to any recourse or solution, uncertainty as to my next step — all seized me and demanded to be worked through.

I have practice in pivoting in case fate throws a curveball, but this one stumped me for five years. Suddenly, writing presented itself in the form of an imagined book, where I began to tell the adventure of building that beautiful life in France. That process of writing jump-started my new metier of creating something meaningful out of ideas and words instead of paint and canvas. I know I’ve got a lot to learn, but I need to always be learning and developing something anyway, so once I stepped on that path I haven’t stepped off it for even one day.

I like having a discipline. I like creating something that has beauty in my own eyes, at the very least. Medium has given me that, though I do believe what I create is worth more than the pittance sent to my bank account every month, a sum that was sliced in half this month despite my unflagging production.

So, when I look back at my beginnings here six months ago, I see progress in my writing chops, but financially things are progressing backwards, as it were. I keep an eye out for advice on how to gain better traction, and I have implemented some things having to do with formatting for instance, but maybe I’m a bit intractable. I evolve pretty slowly.

For now, my plan is to keep on keepin’ on until something else develops, which it always does. There is a writing voice in me that keeps showing up every day with something to say, strangely enough. It talks about anything but money, as a rule. I don’t expect it to suddenly clam up and stop talking, so, as long as Medium exists, I expect to continue.

I’m not the only one having these thoughts here on Medium, and I have no solution except to learn how to swim in these waters more effectively. That involves writing more professionally, but it also involves learning the marketing aspects. That’s something that probably comes more naturally to folks half my age, but I’m game.

We’ll see what happens.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store