dollar bill

This is about how much I’ve got right now…

I’m riffing here about my writing career, which may not interest all of you but certainly is fascinating to me. 😉  What brings up the question of the subject, “What it means to be rich,” is the intersection of success, wealth, and being rich as talked about in this interesting Time article, “What it means to be ‘wealthy’ in America today.”

Often, when I talk about becoming a successful writer, people automatically think I mean that I want to be the next JKR, or Stephen King, or Nora Roberts — that is, the phenomenally well known and unbelievably wealthy top-of-the-heap authors (and true, I would not say “no!” to that kind of success, just sayin’).

The idea that “success” equates with “wealthy” is pretty ingrained in our society, after all.

But that’s not what I mean.

I’m never going to say “that won’t happen” because I’m not that down with predicting the future. Who knows, right? But when I talk about being successful I only partially mean my annual income statement.

Honestly, if I can ~clear~ (after taxes) $30,000 a year, I’ll be livin’ large. For me, the point is not how big that number is, but the kind of life I can live with that. Just that much, which isn’t much if we are being honest, would mean I could quit the day!job, write more stories, take dance lessons and focus on my art. And get a dog!!!! I want a dog so much, but I can’t afford one, and with the day!job, I’m out of the house more than I’m home anyway. So no dog. WOE.

My idea of “success” is not having a panic attack when paying for my groceries because I spend more than $100. It is being able to take the cat to the vet every year, instead of every third year. It’s getting a dog. It’s not juggling the utilities bill with the internet bill with the rent. It’s being able to fly up to spend the holidays with the remnants of my quickly-aging relatives. It’s being able to replace my sneakers when they get ragged, instead of waiting until they literally fall apart.

Wealthy, for me, is definitely more about lifestyle than numbers. It’s true that money can buy happiness, but only up to a point. “More than enough” might be fun, but “enough” is true wealth, in my book.


Image via stock.xchng, Darren Dean, used with permission.

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