Return on my investment

Pink Think: “In any investment, you expect to have fun and make money.” – Michael Jordan

Funny how we just moved a few miles away in the same small town, and yet it feels like a different world.

Last night, as we sat in our living room (we have a rug down, the boxes are cleared, and it looks respectable, yay!), I heard the hooting of an owl just outside the window.

I hear roosters crowing in the morning and it brings me back to my days in the Philippines, when you wake in the cool stillness of the early hour and the neighbor’s rooster says, “Tik-ti-la-ok!” We have only carpet and hardwood on the floor of our rental – the wearing of slippers, sweeping with the broom, cool floor underfoot – and it makes me think of Philippine homes.

I’m kind of homesick all of a sudden. I almost want to pen a new story set in the Philippines, because that is how I can escape back to my childhod.

Note that I said “almost”.

A heavy rain had seeped under our rental’s walk-out basement door this past weekend. We hurried and moved boxes out of harm’s way. The kids were so sweet when they came to a box labeled “Jewel’s trunk novels”. They offered to spread out the papers to dry, and it was all I can do to not chuck the stories into recycling or to set fire on them like kindling. It was a painful reminder of “what could have been”.

Just years ago, I had this dream to be a published novelist. It was my constant quest. It consumed me. I’ve had to let go this past year. The return on investment just wasn’t there.

If I were to take up novel-writing again, it would be as a business proposition. Yes, business. I cannot slave away for as long as I did, for what I sacrificed in time and energy just for papers to collect in a basement, to dry out after a flood.

I have no excuses, not with self-publishing. I am now my own gatekeeper, and being “published” is literally within reach.

So what am I waiting for? I suppose, a break in my schedule, so I am not running behind on projects that are bringing in an income. I know this art should not be all about money, but it’s a real consideration.

For my friends and colleagues that have made it or are still trying to make it, my hat’s off to you!