Embracing the Cold and Knowing One's Value (January Newsletter 2018)

Please note that this is an excerpt from my full Whitney French Writes newsletter. You can read the full newsletter HERE or subscribe to my monthly newsletter HERE to receive these messages directly in your inbox.

A cut and paste mobile hanging from my office. Original illustration by Lido Pimento.

A cut and paste mobile hanging from my office. Original illustration by Lido Pimento.

"I enjoy making money by providing a valuable service"

Much of 2017 was convincing myself, my family and friends and clients that I have value. For artistic types, we know how challenging it is to articulate the value of our work to the world. Dentists, plumbers, chefs and bankers get paid but for some reason artists get paid 'sometimes'. I didn't get into writing for the money. But I also believe that the service I provide and the quality of my work is valuable. I believe this, but I forget this sometimes. 

Most of 2017 was maintaining a level of integrity around my pricing, maintaining the quality of my services and maintaining a consistent clientel. The end of 2017 I realized that this maintenance can come at a price. For the first time in almost two years I've had to take up a part-time gig. 

And I felt shame around this.

It was as if I was moving backwards. I'd worked hard to make writing, workshopping and performances my bread and butter and now, I'm only a part-time writer. I actually hid this reality from even the closest people in my life. And although I enjoy my part-time gig and it offers financial stability, it is exhausting. There is way less time to do this work. Building my readership, develop new services, improve current services and of course, less time to write.

But I am feeling less shame these days. I am recognizing that taking up this gig is actually a smart business move. If I continued on my stubborn "must-write-full-time-or-bust" ways, there may not be a Whitney French Writes anymore. Also, I am HUNGRY for doing WFW work because the time is so precious. I don't have the "luxury" as I once did to work on my personal business every day. Time will tell how this will ultimately shape things, but I am attempting to embrace change and remind myself to express, unapologetically, my value.

There is nothing wrong with an artist wanting to make money. The starving artist stereotype is one I wish to leave behind. But the hustle-hard full-time writer is also a character that may not fit either. I do not have the answer but I'm trying to find a balance that feels authentic.

Journalling helps remind me that it's a process, it's a part of a larger journey. Last year I blogged about simply beginning Whitney French Writes as a business and the hiccups and success that come about, and this reflection work grounds me, it reminds me there's more to come. 

Hope y'all keep reading and continue to follow me for the 'more to come'. Until next time, Happy New Year to you and yours and I hope you find your value, and find your balance.