writing life

Writing and Financial Security

Yesterday’s post turned out to be oddly prescient. Not long after I posted it, I got an e-mail from the HOA reminding us that they’d let us know our cable contract was running out, and saying it ended Feb. 8. So, I figured I needed to go out and get an antenna.

The one I got picks up 69 stations, but not the ABC affiliate, which is annoying because that’s the one I watch the most. However, I only watch one program on it. Otherwise, it’s the news, which I can stream live via their app.

And then I realized I was being very all or nothing about the whole thing, resisting any kind of monthly fee. I think that’s one of the bits of emotional fallout from those lean years between the time I was laid off and the time I started selling novels again. I survived those years by being frugal and not spending additional money on things that weren’t absolutely necessary, and it seems that mindset has held over. Even though I’ve been making more money than I did with my old day job, my mind approaches everything as though I might not make any money at all this year. That’s unlikely, but big ups and downs are possible, so I could earn less than I need to live on if things go badly for me. I’ll probably earn most of this year’s income in the latter half of the year, which makes me feel a bit stressed earlier in the year. I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel totally secure and like the next year won’t rip everything away from me. Maybe if I’ve got a five-book contract for six figures for each book and a TV series in development, but otherwise, I’ll probably worry and be afraid to spend money.

But I figured out that there are other possible solutions. I’m going to look into something like Sling TV that will allow me to watch ABC programming in real time, as well as giving me the cable channels for shows I’m currently watching, along with a DVR-like service, and I can drop it after the TV season ends. Then I can figure out what to do next season, depending on what’s going to be on TV. I may be able to bring in that additional channel with an external tuner, by finding a way to place the antenna higher in my house, or by getting a more powerful antenna that I can put on the second floor. Or it may not matter to me then.

In the meantime, I should be thinking more about writing books or I’ll never reach that point of a five-book contract for six figures a book (it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever be at that level, but I can’t get to that level without actually writing the book). But first, I guess this weekend I’ll be watching everything I have saved up on the DVR before I have to return it. Most of it is reference material for books, so it kind of counts as work. I’ll be taking notes.

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