God everything’s a shitshow right now. An exciting, scary, pit-of-stomach, oh-my-heart shit show. Over the last month I’ve gone from San Francisco to New York, from the offices of The New York Times to free fancy dinners paid for by years of practicing writing to a housein the Catskills filled with badass women to my apartment wondering where I’ll get my next paycheck.
It was all “work.” Work in the sense that I was drumming up business, negotiating a raise with my steadiest freelancing client, brainstorming story ideas with two editors at The Times.
And none of it was “work.” It was not work in the sense that no one was paying me, except for the $500 speaking fee (poofed when I bought my flight and found a $50-a-night-room to stay in).
I finished my book on Tuesday, for which the two checks of $2,400 have long come and gone. I finished an essay I’ve been working on for months and submitted to Modern Love, but even if it gets accepted I’ll get $300 in, maybe, six months from now. Fuck Off Funds were in Cosmo and Glamour this month, for which I got $0.
I cannot cash my rent check on publicity, or connections, or exposure. They will pay off, someday. But I have $285 after my rent check clears (and I cannot, cannot bounce it again), and really no solid idea of where my next check will come from.
So today is spent hustling, and I will just keep bouncing back.
I so believe, more than ever, that I am on the verge. I will be paid well within the next few years. The book will give me a platform to make more money. Those stories will be published in The Times.
But damn, shit feels real right now.