Whenever there’s a large negative shift in my financial landscape, my initial reaction is always despair.
Creating financial stability as a writer feels impossible. An experiment doomed to fail with no one to blame but myself.
After despair comes hopelessness. This is usually the part where I cry. The world closes in and every thought and action feels hollow.
Creating financial stability as a writer is impossible. Not only that, financial stability is something I will never have, regardless of my line of work.
After hopelessness comes grief. I think about every poor financial decision I’ve made to date. It’s overwhelming and the only way to cope is to take a nap.
Creating financial stability as a writer is a foolhardy goal. I should have become a doctor. (As if that were and option.) I should have charged more, spent less, saved more.
After grief comes anger. I blame my clients. I blame myself. I blame my shitty financial education. It has to be someone’s fault. So it is everyone’s fault.
Creating financial stability as a writer is impossible because every client I ever have will screw me over eventually The contracts and automatic payments I have in place don’t make a difference.
After anger comes relief. I am free to create again. To explore a more aligned avenue of work. To give all my energy to the things I want to be making money off of.
Creating financial stability as a writer is slow going. I put too much pressure on myself to figure everything out right away. I can do more to celebrate what is working.
After relief comes doubt. This won’t work. It will take me too long to make up for the money that’s been lost. I take another nap.
Creating financial stability as a writer is always going to be difficult. I don’t know if it’s worth it. Maybe I should get a real job.
After doubt comes hope. This will work. I’ve made it work before. And every time I do, I get a little bit further ahead.
Creating financial stability as a writer is possible. I am a little bit more financially stable than before I started to work with money in a new way. So, there’s that.
After hope comes compartmentalization. This will work and I need to put the unhelpful emotions somewhere. I can indulge them in a month’s time if I still have reason to.
Creating financial stability as a writer requires focus. I don’t have time to let fear and overwhelm and anxiety drain me. I must keep up the supportive routines and encouraging inner dialogue I have established.
After compartmentalization comes action. It’s time to do. To use my very real need for money as a springboard to get shit done.
Creating financial stability as a writer requires that I get back to work immediately. And instead of going for what’s easy and familiar, I must reach for the work I truly want to be doing.
This is how I process financial despair.
How do you?