Let the Hard Times Roll

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When Mike and I moved out of my parents’ in August, I knew things would get tough at some point. We’d saved a lot of money, he was working full-time, and I was making a fairly decent part-time income from my writing. I thought we were prepared.

For a while, things were good. It wasn’t easy, per se, but we made it work. And then, almost overnight, we hit a wall.

My writing income flatlined.

Depression slammed into me, full force.

We went on food stamps.

Every month, it got harder and harder to make rent.

As of today, we’ve been on our own for five months. It seems like it’s way too soon for this shit. I know when you’re young and freshly married, you’re kind of supposed to struggle. It’s like a rite of passage. But damn it, haven’t I paid enough of those proverbial dues?

As I write this, I’m glancing nervously at my Wi-Fi. It was due today and we couldn’t afford it, so we have to let it go for now. I’ve cut a lot of things in the last few months but this one hurts the most. The internet is my livelihood. And honestly, I’m even starting to question whether this writing thing is a good idea. At least, if I had a “normal” job, I could count on a paycheck at the end of the week. But I get paid monthly and if I don’t meet certain payment thresholds, I don’t actually get paid until… some later time.

Callie Crofts said it perfectly in her vlog: Where extreme narcissism and crippling self-doubt meet, lies art. I love what I do, but I often question whether this is a sane choice. I’m in one of those ruts where I’m wondering what the fucking point is, thinking that maybe I should just go back to school for something that actually pays.

I think a lot of people think authors make decent money. And maybe it’s true for the majority of novelists out there. But I have yet to see that tipping point.

I love my readers and I love writing, don’t get me wrong. But it’s times like these, when I’m up against the wall, that I question whether it’s all worth it.

Honestly, I’m really scared. I’ve lost several jobs because of my shitty health. Writing seemed like a great fit; I could do it from home and work around doctors’ appointments. And, at the time, my book sales were decent. I really don’t know what to do now.

I mean, I’ll probably keep on writing because I’m in love with it and I’m kinda blinded by that love. But I really feel stuck, and it’s terrifying.

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Elizabeth Barone

Elizabeth Barone is an American novelist who writes contemporary romance and suspense starring strong belles who chose a different path. Her debut novel Sade on the Wall was a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She is the author of the South of Forever series and several other books. When not writing, Elizabeth is very busy getting her latest fix of Yankee Candle, spicy Doritos chips, or whatever TV show she’s currently binging. Elizabeth lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, a feisty little cat, and too many books.

2 thoughts on “Let the Hard Times Roll”

  1. Liz- you are so talented. I lost my job from this shitty RA too. Keep writing.pray- I am totally not religious but I find talking to God when I’m driving helps. You will get thru this. Hugs… Debbie

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