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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'm Doing What I Want, but Where is the Money?

This week, I was supposed to go to Boston for a job training, but it was cancelled. Saved me six hours round trip in the car, but it bummed me out. I was all packed, checked my email one last time, and there was the message. "Client's needs changed," whatever. Yadda yadda. Lucky I checked.

Everything happens for a reason, passed through my brain.

Um, yeah.

I thought it was funny that phrase passed through my brain, since I'm not one of your crunchy-airy-believing-in-signs kind of people, much as I would like to be. Yes, really, I would. Life seems so much more thrilling, or at least meaningful, to people who believe that way.

I observed the phrase flitting through my mind--result of lots of mindfulness meditation practice, ability to notice these passing thoughts with dispassion. I also observed the retort that followed along right after. Yeah, everything happens for a reason, but it just so happens that the reason has nothing to do with you.

Then I recalled the 3 queries I recently sent to agents for a project and the 3 rejections that came sailing back to me, practically instantaneously. After that, I lay down for two days and read Broken Harbor by Tana French. I also decided the husband was annoying, I am fat, and the world is grey.

Today I'd had enough wallowing. I ran. I showered. I opened up Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow, by Marsha Sinetar.  Heard of that book? That old chestnut? I've been joking about that title for years. Decades, even."I'm doing what I love, but if the money's following, it's sure a long way behind"...and so on. It was published in 1987, just when I decided not to go to law school and to work for a phone sex company instead.  Excellent decision.

I opened at random to a section about three aspects to the "the money will follow" part of the title: letting go; waiting; and inner wealth.  The specific part I put my finger on was this: "in the critical months and years of 'waiting' for the money to follow, the person who ventures into the loved, not-yet-successful work area faces the risk that not only will the money be delayed, but also that he will feel he has experienced a failure.... This is, in the final analysis, a very personal judgement call, and no book can give the formula for when to stay or quit."

Aw, hell.  Why not? That's why I'm reading this book. I want the freakin' formula.

Sinetar continues on the next page, "We must become good readers of our own situation."

Isn't that just like every single self-help book you've ever read? They fob off the really hard work, usually the problem that has brought you to buy this book, by telling you it's up to you to figure out the nubbin at the core of the situation. I mean, if I could read my situation well, lady, I wouldn't need your book.

So I ask you, readers, how do I read my situation? The potential job fell through, which is perhaps a sign that I ought to commit myself to my creative pursuits more confidently and thoroughly. However, I am three for three with those agent queries, which suggests that I ought to conduct a much more thorough job search than I've done so far, and leave my creative pursuits behind.

Perhaps it's time to pull out the I Ching....Or can someone just give me the name of a decent psychic?


  1. This reminds me when I read "Your Money or Your Life" years ago. Basically the book said, "Jobs are to make money. Your job is likely not going to be the most fulfilling part of your life, so find a job where you only have to work a few hours a week so you'll have more free time for the stuff that is really fulfilling." More advice than your book, I suppose, but if you find a job like that - a job where they don't NEED you there for many hours, yet pay you a big hourly wage - let me know.

    1. Yup. Will do. The job training was supposed to be that, sort of. Freelance from home. Oh well. Keep looking.

  2. If it's any comfort, I think I was maybe 40 for 40 with agents before I decided to try to sell a book myself. . .
    - alison

    1. Well, Alison, I may be working on that eventually myself. 40 for 40. Bruises the ego, doesn't it? I got 39 rejections from agents before I gave up on my last novel....

  3. "I also decided the husband was annoying, I am fat, and the world is grey." Get outta' my head, Hope.

    By the way, and this will come as no surprise to you, I shared a link to your blog again on Facebook. This time it was to exploit the opportunity to send a zinger to an arrogant co-worker by quoting your summary on why less confident people are more successful.

    1. Woo-hoo! Zing away! I loved that article, although it would be more pertinent to my life if I worked in a corporate setting....