Friday Speak Out: Writers and Their Finances, Guest Post by Michelle Dwyer

Friday, June 05, 2009
Writers and Their Finances

by Michelle Dwyer

Authors regard writing as sacred, fighting anyone who says it's not. They share the same goal, to be heard. With skill and a sprinkle of luck, they hope to make an impact on at least one person in this life while earning a living, or at least while supplementing the income from more traditional jobs. And as most starving artists would say, "Times are tough."

What I've learned about money has helped me tame money's excessive influence over me, thus allowing me to focus on what I love: writing. Maybe my life lessons will help you too.

It was a typical morning. The alarm drilled into my ears, and like a trooper, I got out of bed, dressed, then got my kids out of their beds, and we left for the day. After I dropped my children off at school, I went to Starbucks. The line was longer than an American Idol audition. But I waited. As I cursed and banged my knee against the car door out of extreme impatience, I remembered the words of an old marketing professor, "The mall has everything you want and nothing you need."

Those words propelled my thought process. Stores all over the globe entice us to spend money when our time, and our money, are better spent elsewhere. Starbucks is no exception. Please do not mistake my honesty for hate. Starbucks is delicious and a wonderful treat. But how could I be so weak-minded that I would choose to wait in a line for over forty minutes, be late for work, and then pay seven dollars for coffee and a breakfast that I can make at home for a dollar? I immersed myself in thought. And what I discovered was chilling. I needed validation in a world where I had none. I wanted to say that I had the power to buy anything at my choosing. But in reality, it was a form of self-sabotage. I loved Starbucks, true. But I hated my job more, and I was looking for some solace every morning, to help me survive the day. My own little piece of absolution.

Then I thought of another professor who'd said, "Leadership is the ability to make somebody act in a given way."

I did the math. Leadership plus desire equaled a person of awesome power, me. But I had given my power to my money and let it justify my being unhappy.
Now I'm betting on myself, living on student loans while going to graduate school and working on my writing. I plan to start my own business, maybe even a small publishing company. But I'm also being smart, saving at least 100 dollars a month. And you know what? I'm the happiest I've ever been, and I spend half of what I had spent before I quit my nine-to-five.

Through it all, I’ve learned that calculated risk, determination, and hard work will help me see my passions bloom...and my voice in print.

Michelle studied writing in high school and longed to become an author. But circumstances arose, causing her to join the military instead. However, she never gave up. She enrolled in writing school, finished her first crime novel, and will achieve her MBA this fall. She writes as Krymzen Hall at


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



TraciKBaez said...

Excellent Article
Rich & Traci Baez
Fort Drum, New York

Joanne said...

Kudos to you and your choices ... where there's a will, there's a way. Best wishes!

Krymzen Hall said...

Thanks, Traci and Joanne!! It has been a journey...:-)

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