Social media doesn’t paint a whole picture, and I want to be frank on why I’m living in paradise.
I’m not making enough money off my writing, my job, (not a hobby) to live off it and survive in Canada.
I have a theory that we cannot make space for our dream jobs, our “fuck yes” careers if we are already in bed with another.
I walked away from my other part times jobs eight months ago and went, “This is it. I am a writer, just a writer.”
Not a server, writer. Not a woman selling condos and writing on weekends.
I am a writer.
I am a powerful manifestor and knew if I put my whole blood and sweat into just writing, I could make it work.
I was published in Stepping Stones when I was in Grade three so I know it’s the thing for me.
There was one week where I had $60 dollars in my bank account.
I ran out of gas at my cabin, which meant no propane to cook with and no hot water for showers.
I had the choice of filling up my propane tank, or filling up my car with gas and buying groceries.
It was the first time I went into a grocery store and added up the pennies of everything in my basket.
I bought a dinosaur of a Coleman stove from the 1300’s from Value Village for five dollars, ate oats, bananas and deli meat sandwiches for a week.
I rented my bed out on Air BnB and slept in my car by the ocean one day to make $100.
I thought about caving and picking up some work in town that week, but I didn’t give in.
I felt like it was a test from the universe, she was asking, “Do you really want this? Really, really?”
And I had to stubbornly plant my feet in what I loved and say, “Yes, I want this! I will eat oats to make it!”
After that week I picked up two paid clients who wanted me to submit articles for their blogs/websites and two women contacted me about writing their story.
I got swooped up hard by the universe, but it took that week of struggling and not knowing.
I was over the fist bump, but I still wasn’t making enough to survive.
I realized this and put my cabin up for rent and found a work exchange for food and accommodation (in bunk beds) at a butterfly garden in Montezuma, Costa Rica off craigslist.
I’ve been cleaning up caterpillar poop in a beautiful country for the last three four months to survive off what I love.
It’s not that I’m privileged or loaded or have all the resources—it’s because I realized it’s easier to work/live down here than in Canada and I refuse to focus on anything but my writing.
Doing what we love is hard to make a living off sometimes.
It’s incredibly hard as a writer in a new media age, where writing is free and online publications pay peanuts for art.
So yes, I’m surfing and swimming in waterfalls and drinking coconuts in sun hats—but more importantly I’m just resourceful and stubborn as fuck to only do what I love.
From the inside,
Author: Janne Robinson
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: courtesy of the author