I suppose it’s natural that now I’ve been discharged from a relatively lengthy hospital admission I’m thinking about the future. My sole ambition is to live in a way that is pleasing to God and so I’m pondering how best to do that.
One consideration is that I need to get out of debt. So working seems wise. I am experiencing some quite troublesome effects of the medication I’ve been prescribed, which could make working more challenging than it would be otherwise. I would like to focus entirely on promoting my books, but the publishing industry doesn’t make it easy for authors to earn a full-time income. More sensible, I feel, would be to undertake some freelance work while also leaving some time each week to focus on book promotion.
Another consideration is that over the last few years I’ve had a vision for certain long-term ambitions. These ambitions draw upon my life experience and they excite me more than the idea of freelancing. However, they offer a harder route towards a stable income. I’m talking about Tealight Ministries, which is a charity I would like to establish with four ‘arms’ — publishing, counselling, music, and interfaith dialogue.
A couple of years ago, I put together a strategic planning document for the charity with the help of several other people, and we got to the stage of drafting (but not finalising) a charity constitution, which is the legal document that would govern the charity’s structure and activities. I still have this document, though it may need some tweaks due to the passing of time.
What I’m thinking (as I’m typing!) is that I could in theory do all three of these things: Book promotion, freelancing, and setting up the charity. But maybe that’s ridiculously over-ambitious, considering the medication and everything. If it is overly ambitious, then my instinct is to focus on book promotion and the charity and leave the freelancing. This is because I want to spend my time pursuing those things I’m most enthusiastic about, if my finances allow.
Although I’m in debt, I am receiving some government support with rent and living costs so can afford the essentials each month. There is also a food bank not far from where I live. I would probably be able to get by without the freelance work if I am very frugal, and who knows, maybe book sales will pick up (with hard work) and the charity may receive a grant (or grants), which is part of the plan for that.
Perhaps I could dedicate Monday and Friday to book promotion and the rest of the working week to setting up the charity. That feels achievable and a nice balance. Or maybe I should actually keep freelancing in the mix, because it’s unlikely that even a small portion of charity funding could be used for the purpose of clearing my overdraft.
I’m still experiencing a kind of floaty elation from being out of hospital. It was really hard at times, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so angry and frustrated as I was on that ward when, week after week, I was not discharged. But God is most merciful and there were abundant blessings every day in hospital. I’m very grateful that I wasn’t kept confined for longer.
Feel free to offer any words of advice and/or encouragement that come to mind in the comments section below, and as they say on YouTube, I’ll see you in the next one!