Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trying to deal with reality

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Just thinking out loud here... But I'm concerned about my newspaper writing gig. Little, by little, the work is eroding in terms of the Tampa Tribune being my "count on" weekly income.

Two years ago I was writing four stories for $410 every week. Then they closed the West Tampa News... then they cut the rate they pay... then they started to pay less for photographs... now they sometimes "hold stories for space" which means they haven't sold adequate advertising to justify enough pages and so my columns get bumped.

So today, on average, I have two stories any given week - sometimes just one, and almost never three - and I'm earning mostly $155.

I have often said that I don't write for the money (or why would I blog?!!). But, and this is a key distinction, I do need to earn money so that I can write. Or, to put it another way, earning an income from the Tampa Tribune has thus far freed me up to devote the kind of time necessary in order to write the stuff (devotions, meditations, books, studies etc) that I believe from the bottom of my heart that God is calling me to do.

Right now for example I am overflowing with some great ideas for my next book. But I have to be practical. What I really need is three to six months where I can concentrate 100% on the new manuscript. I guess what I need is a grant!

So I'm thinking out loud here in terms of looking for wisdom. How do I proceed? The answer is partially revealed as I sit here thinking...: One of my all-time favorite books is Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Frankl wrote in response to real-life - namely his incarceration in a Nazi death-camp during WW2. There was no tidy comfortable "Genius Grant" set aside so that the philosopher and theologian could work on his manuscript without worry or interruption.

Darn it, I hate it when I get that kind of insight! I'd rather go with the genius grant any day. Oh well, that's reality for you; it's where we live. Watch this space to see how God continues to teach me.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)


1 comment:

Geoffrey said...

Derek - Mans Search for Meaning is one of my favorites too. I quote it often in respect to Logotherapy and the notion that the Nazis couolod take anything and everything aways from him, they could control every aspect of his life - EXCEPT his mind. That was only theirs if he GAVE it too them!

I love you - keep up the great work!! Geoff