6:30a Morning Pages ~ Avery Creek Camp, Pisgah National Forest
I have an appointment with what I would call an intake counselor at the Sharing House today. It is a Christian ministry serving the poor. I took my hot shower there yesterday. They help with food and clothing too, as well as financial assistance for needy families. Unlike The Source, it is separate from the soup kitchen, which is called Bread of Life. They do not have a laundry service.
The woman at the front desk was okay. She wasn’t rude, but she also wasn’t warm or friendly. She asked me questions like, “Do you qualify for food stamps?”, like I should know the system. It wasn’t that she was looking down on me exactly, but I certainly was not respected as a peer.
I am curious how this process will work today. I would rather not give too much information about myself; certainly not my banking data. I’d like to volunteer one day a week in exchange for receiving services, both because I feel it is the right thing to do and because it will give me something to do one day a week, and maybe help me meet people.
I want to keep up my morning pages while Edward is here, and I want to keep reading the book he gave me. I want to be ready to literally start writing when he leaves on January 2nd. I want to have a rough idea, and I want to start running with it. Maybe I won’t have to get a job. Maybe I can just pick up writing full time.
Edward and I have talked about me starting a fee-based subscription service to help me support myself. I could sell goods with my photography on them, like mugs, notepads, t-shirts, etc. I would need to sell a lot of trinkets to make $1500 every month, which is what I will need through the month of April to live simply here and maintain my obligations back in Spokane.
A subscription service seems more doable, but what would I offer? A photo and life lesson from the road?
I keep thinking about the guy who wrote letters from the Universe. He had an email list, and every Monday he would write a letter from the Universe, an inspirational blurb. I think his first product was a collection of these teachings in tape form. Eventually he had a book deal. But it all started with his little Monday meme by email.
I could surely do the same. I could collect email addresses from my blog and do a special blast for them. I could offer my trinkets for sale here and there, especially for holidays coming up, like Valentine’s Day. I could write a note from the road each week, about simple living, slow food, chasing your dreams, being near nature, finding what is important in life, being a woman? Don’t I need to narrow my focus in order to be good? Relevant?
Edward put it best last night. Don’t think about what people will and will not buy. Just put yourself out there. You would be surprised what people will spend their money on.
I did play around with my blog last night. I mean yesterday, at the library. I changed the theme, and the About Me tab appears again. I tried to play with the header image too, but my photo uploads kept stalling out. I will have to go back and try again. I need to remember what General Patton said – “A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” It is not lost on me that Poet for Hire was found on the corner of Biltmore and Patton.
The sun is coming up, and gray light is yawning into the woods. Soon I will be able to turn my overhead light off. I am sipping on cold coffee this morning, a combination of the free cup I got at the Citgo gas station yesterday and the free cup I got at the soup kitchen, poured together. I saved three bucks doing this!
I will miss my time in the coffee shop though. I really love those places. But it is only for today. Still, at three dollars each day, I would be spending ninety dollars over the month. That seems like a lot of money. But is it not really an investment? Keeps me writing and reading, and keeps the local economy strong? I’ll have to think this one through.
I wonder what time the Phoenix opens? Their coffee is only two dollars, it is served in a real mug, and I get refills. I wonder if I could offer them some service in exchange for coffee and a writing table. The place stays pretty quiet until the live music starts in the evening.