Christina Katz’s Prosperous Writer newsletter showed up in my in box at a serendipitous time. Her prompt for this week is “happiness.”
My family and I have been riding high due to a steady flow of great work from a major publisher based in my state. I am happy to share the news in Facebook, comments, and at About.com. But I begin to wonder if harping on the financial side of freelance writing annoys those “artistes” out there.
Here is the thing, though. Financial success makes me a happy. I am responsible for keeping a household running, for educating my children, and for paying for the things that make this American life flow easily. Don’t get me wrong–I love writing. I am happy and proud to have a skill that flows through my fingers easily (ok, 80% of the time it’s easy), and I am content when I’m doing it. Although I’m young(ish), I’ve had some real grind jobs, and I am happy to be here versus back there.
Katz says that her favorite kind of happy people are those who have earned their happiness. Here is where I come from: a childhood of near-poverty in Detroit and thereabouts. A single, very young mother who crawled her way up and out of that scene. It was sometimes happy, sure. I have fond memories of playing with my brothers in the neighborhood, in the yard. But that worry, the constant question of where the next rent check would come from never seemed to leave. Even as a child in single digit ages, I knew this worry.
I built my business by first building my education, returning to college when my daughter was 3, and finishing when my son was 3. I earned my success by never leaving education behind. I continued to learn and build this business by way of people like Katz, Deb Ng, and Michelle Goodman.
Yes, my happiness is tied to my financials, but my happiness is also earned.