Photo by Phillip Lees. Evia, Greece
Some Opportunities Make You Crazy
The crazy of being a full-time writer is so pervasive that we don’t even think about it. We just feel normal in our obsessions, our passions, and our darkness. Then, you read your email and discover a unique moment of joy and rage at the fates. You hear from an old friend about whom you often think kind thoughts. He lives on a Greek island, and he tells you he has finished renewing a house on his property and wants make it available for rental to working writers.
First thought, “WOW! I’m so on this! I can’t wait to hang out in Greece and chat with my friend again.”
You read the letter again, and you realize he has even said that if you want to come visit, you’ll be a guest.
Second thought is, “Where’s my passport?”
You scramble around the house. You find your passport. You pull up your calendar to see when you go. There’s a couple weeks that might be available in . . . in. . . WTF? May of 2020?
A cup of tea later, and you’re all, “Yeah. May. 2020. That’s good. I can do that.”
So, you do a few calculations and check your bank account.
No. You can’t do that. You’re a writer. You have multiple revenue streams that are currently bringing in less than your overhead. At the current rate, the cushion of cash you are living off will be exhausted about May of 2020.
That’s normal. You’ve been living the freelance writer and consultant gig economy for thirty years. However, you also know that in May of 2020 you’ll be dug into whatever work is filling the coffers.
Still, you check on the travel costs. Hope springs eternal.
- 2000.00, plus or minus a few hundred, for round-trip Airfare to Athens and back.
- 60.00, bus/ferry to and from Athens to Evia
- 300.00, general food and sundries
- ???.??, rental cost for people who aren’t you.
- 2360.00, total minimum.
You are so glad you are a writer and have this amazing friend and opportunity!
You rage at the fact that you are a writer, who is not a travel writer, and can’t currently figure out a way to take advantage of the amazing opportunity and go see your friend!
This is the life of a freelance writer. The waves come in. The waves go out. You can ride them, but you can’t predict them. Sometimes, they are ocean waves you get to play in because you’re honored to be a writer-in-residence at a week-long retreat on the Oregon coast. Sometimes, they are Greek Island waves because you get to teach on Crete for a couple weeks. And sometimes, the perfect waves, which all now know are on the Greek island of Evia, are just out of reach.
You decide that it’s okay that you can’t figure out how to go today. Another day, maybe. Waves come and go. Someday, you’ll sit with your friend, chat, sip raki, and watch the sun set. For now, you decide that what you can do is share the joy and rage. You can let other writers know that they, too, have this opportunity!
This amazing place exists. So, here it is. If you can go, go. All writers should get time in a little stone house on a Greek island at some point in their lives.
Hey, at the very least we can click through the photos and see the Greek sunset.