Just right now, I am wrapped up with the idea of teal, specifically teal pillows on a chocolate brown sofa.  The living room of the new farm house may be these colors.  That’s where this thinking started.

Though it’s the rainy day, and a wish to wrap myself up in the softest blanket in the world – a teal blanket plush and faintly scented with lavender – that is holding me in this teal world.

That and a lack of clarity about what I have to say today. 

Too much my mind is full of numbers and too bereft of words. I am counting newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans and website traffic figures because I need this business to succeed.  No, I need it to thrive with editing clients, Painted Steps writers, and members of the online community.  With advertisers – discreet and relevant – in the margins of these pages. (Even including these links feels disingenuous, cloying – ugh!)

All of that is so important, and every bit of it makes me feel like a sell-out.

The teal, soft blanket and a good book. . . I want to retreat there today because I want to both be an artist and a business person, and I don’t know how to do both.  I don’t know how to keep my spirit alive with what is truest to me AND make money.

The money is not an end, of course.  It’s a way, a path to more farm life and more freedom to write the stories I am called to tell – about enslaved people, people silenced, people ignored, people often intentionally forgotten.  The money is my pathway to them.

I know, I know, I know (but I don’t believe) that all this business – all these numbers matter – but not as much, not as much as those people, not even as much as my words about those people.

The balance, the soft balance of numbers and words, I’m ever seeking it and trying every day to stay sincere and true, to remember why the numbers matter – not for my credit but for the calling.

Still, on a rainy morning, a lush, teal blanket, a cup of coffee, and 400 pages of great story . . . they call to me – refuge.

Do you ever feel like a sell-out?  How do you keep yourself true to the calling of your art?