They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. In this case, the writer gets writing.
As you know, I’m supposed to be headed off next week for an adventure. Bandit and I are going to BlogPaws, a pet blogging conference in Virginia, outside Washington, DC. We’ll be spending a night with my dad on the way down, and possibly on the way back. Me and Bandit, out on the open road, spending three nights in a hotel. I will return with lots of material for columns, I’m sure of that.
In a way, it’s part of my “Year of Adventure”, since I’ve been wanting to take a road trip with the dog for years. It’s a trip I’ve put off several times. “Just do it!” everyone has been telling me. “Just go! Don’t let anyone stop you!”
That’s easy to say when you have money in your pocket. Not so easy when the moth are multiplying.
I took the dogmobile (aka the Jeep) into the shop this week for a pre-trip check up and to take care of one or two maintenance items that have needed attention for a while. Transmission cooling line. Universal joint. Spark plugs. Oil change. Turns out the little dogmobile has a more serious rust problem than I thought, and one problem leads to another and another hundred dollars and on and on.
And now the Jeep is another day in the shop, and we’re up to $1200 in repairs. And I just got off the phone with the mechanic; the cooling lines are apparently a bitch to remove (or something like that), and they may need to add a couple of hours more labor to the bill.
Great. The repairs needed to be done; I just hadn’t expected them right now. At this point, I don’t have enough money to pay the bill and go to the conference. The Jeep will be fixed and I’ll be sitting home.
So I’m sitting here ready to bang my head against the wall in frustration.
Writing requires experience – new experiences, adventures, networking. Hitting the road with Bandit is part of the book idea. But if I can’t afford to go, I can’t write about it. Hence, no new ideas to write about. No new ideas, no new writing opportunities. No writing, no income. No income, no adventures. It’s a vicious cycle, one that has kept me not only lacking in new ideas but in a personal rut. Did I say rut? I meant hole. Deep hole. Cavernous hole. Can you hear the echo?
My mom keeps offering me money, and my sister has offered a ‘gift’, too, so I put up a little ChipIn box in case anyone wants to contribute to the adventure. I call it “reader supported writing”. But there’s a limit to what I feel comfortable taking when I give nothing back in return. If this were a mission trip, or if I was doing something that would benefit mankind, I wouldn’t think twice about asking for contributions. But this is selfish – a writing conference, a weekend away with my dog. I mean, really. There are people starving and jobless and this is what I’m worried about?
It’s not like I’m lusting for expensive new cars or million dollar homes. I have a used Jeep that I love, that makes hauling dogs around a breeze. I have dogs that cost hundreds (and close to thousands) in vet bills. I don’t want to cost a lot, but I do.
Oh poop. I suppose this is part of the adventure. I told my sister to pray for a book deal and a little advance that will help cover the costs of more adventures to write about. Until then, I’m going to crack open a bottle of wine and have a good cry.