Ink-Dipped Advice: Adversity

Those of you who have followed along on Ink in My Coffee and on social media know that last week, I was hit with a crisis. I had an unexpected major car repair, far more than I had put aside. Yes, I am one of the 78% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck who cannot afford an emergency.

I’d thought the month of May was the start of my road out of that, and that I might even have enough of a cushion to take a few much-needed days off, but then I was hit with the car repair.

The repair is being done in stages. Phase One, the most expensive one, was to get the car back on the road. I live in an area where public transportation is a joke, unless you’re going from Hyannis or Barnstable into Boston.

The hard part is, I had to ask for help to do it. That nearly killed me. Which is not logical, because I do my best to help anyone else who asks whenever I can. Yet not having enough of a cushion to fund this major, unexpected repair myself makes me feel like a failure.

But I asked for help. I received far more than I expected. I also sent out another spate of pitches, some at a much higher rate than I expected. I received payment for a big job just completed (which had been marked for other bills and a couple of days of rest for me, but oh well). I landed an assignment from a quick-pay publication, and have another spec assignment on a bigger-than-I-usually-work-for pub that would pay well (although a few months down the line). I sent some LOIs to companies I might not have initially approached, but circumstances made me do so now.

It’s more immediate pressure on me right now, but if I can keep myself mentally in the game, and not break down physically, I should be able to do it.

But it sharpens into focus some of the things I’ve been trying to change, and forces me to change them sooner rather than later.

This is a catalyst for change.

It will be good in the long run. If I can only survive in the short run.

How do you deal with unexpected adversity? What are your most helpful tools?

2 thoughts on “Ink-Dipped Advice: Adversity”

  1. I had a similar experience, Devon. First, unexpected car expenses (which aren’t over yet), then unexpected education expenses (I was planning for those, but they’ve happened earlier than expected).

    Luckily, I’ve been able to ramp up work, but what would have been a cushion is now paying those expenses, so I know that’s not a good long term plan.

    So I’m starting a couple of ventures that are less dependent on my being able to sit at a computer and type. Eventually, that will bring some more balance to my writing life and expenses. 🙂

    1. Yeah, finding something that pays fairly that is also aligned with my talents is always the challenge. In addition, I’m not just out of college, starting out. I have a solid decades of experience behind me. Sadly, I live in an area where that is derided rather than valued, so I do as much remote work as possible.

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