Lessons Learned

Some of you may have read my blog posts about the debacle of trying to sell my artwork. It was a disaster from day one. Yesterday, I had to retrieve my art from the gallery as it was the last day before I’d have to pay for another three months.

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

I became gratefully willing to sell the expensive printer I bought to make the art prints and greeting cards I was sure would fly off the shelves. It seemed like a lot of work to put it online for sale and I felt I would never sell it for enough to make it worthwhile. And there was this lingering, ridiculous thought that maybe I would use the printer one day. But my gut told me it had to go. So I just did the next right thing. And after two weeks, it finally sold on Ebay. With the rebate I received, I came out at only about $75 out of pocket for the printer. That was a miracle.

So, from over $2200, I am now out $1525. Ouch. But it’s time to stop beating myself up about it all. I didn’t debt. And I didn’t spend down my savings. THAT is a miracle.
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Self-Serving or Serving Others

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 262 days written!


When my Higher Power speaks, it is almost always with a sharp wit. As I’ve written in previous posts, I went down a financial rabbit hole trying to start an art business. Life became infinitely easier when I stopped short of spending any of my savings on this venture and decided enough was enough.

However, my art was still in the gallery since I had paid for three months. In fact, my husband had even contributed a bit of money when we were told we could have the prime spot in the front of the store. This was my opportunity.
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And the Truth Will Set You Free!

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 240 days written!

Christopher Pierznik showed tremendous courage and selfless service when he wrote this article that appeared in the online magazine Medium today:
What Happens When Virtually No One Buys Your Book?

The fantasy persists that if we write our book, it will become a blockbuster bestseller. Christopher did have a Kindle hit with his book “The Hip-Hop 10,” published in 2013.

But the truth of publishing today is that, for the vast majority of authors, if they want to earn money, books must be just one part of a platform, which many authors do not want to hear. The fact is that most authors never earn more than $5,000 for the lifetime of their book. So if profit is your motive and you aren’t willing to create other products and services around your book, you may want to reconsider.

But, as Christopher’s article pointed out, many who write do so out of passion, not profit, and because they feel driven to communicate something to the world. While it may be disheartening when your sales do not match your passion, it’s important to remember that message to remind you of your original purpose.

“Economics of a Kickstarter Project”

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 208 days written!

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In an effort to dispel wishful thinking surrounding the romanticized notion of crowdfunding, I wanted to pass along an excellent article that takes you through the financial realities of a successful kickstarter campaign. Spoiler alert: it’s not the fluffy fairy tale it appears to be! Continue reading

Success BDA-Style

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 200 days written!

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I’ve begun attending BDA phone meetings and am seeing where my challenges lie. With over five years sober in my personal finances, I thought working BDA would be easy for me. But it’s clear that business is a whole different animal. In addition, I suspect a solo entrepreneur-creative (vs. a creative entrepreneur, which I definitely do NOT consider myself) is going to work BDA far differently than someone building a brick and mortar business with a staff. What I mean is that my decisions will probably be smaller in scope, at least at the beginning, and with enough willingness, I can say no when I must. This process is giving me clarity about what I want success to look like as an entrepreneur-creative: Continue reading

The Final Straw

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 175 days written!

Yesterday, I nearly lost my solvency. More like I was about to throw it out the window or, as my husband said, just because the boat has a leak, do you really want to sink it?

I don’t handle stress well. Does any addict? So I’ve been having a huge amount of “buyer’s remorse” about my decision to start a new business at the same time I’ve lost 1/2 my income. I look at the behemoth of a printer I bought (to make art prints and greeting cards) with loathing since I cannot really make it work properly (though a conversation with Epson did help to make it somewhat functional). I checked into returning the beast, but it was not an option.
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Crowd Funding for a Compulsive Spender

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 168 days written!

In response to my last post about deciding not to fund an art business with my savings, someone was kind enough to suggest creating a Kick Starter or similar type of crowd funding campaign to help offset the costs. My internal response has been interesting in the time since reading this comment.
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Staying True to What I Know

Over the past few weeks, my life has taken an unexpected turn. Consequently, I’ve been engaged in a whirlwind of discretionary spending that, while abstinent, has rocked me, and has led to an examination of my core DA beliefs.

I’m in the middle of writing a daily reader for compulsive debtors and spenders. But along the way, I’ve run into an opportunity to begin selling my artwork at a gallery. While the response was quite positive by the owners, I was told that my artwork was not presented in a very professional way (dollar store frames!) and that the framing needed to be upgraded.

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A Revelation about Art and Business

In my daily writing recently, I had an epiphany about the way I approached art and business before I became ill (and before my recovery in DA). This revelation struck me after reading a description of the Saturday Business Debtors Anonymous (BDA) phone meeting for Artists and Writers on the DA website:
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Should It Be a Hobby or Business?

My path is quite different than most, but not all, in DA. Being on Social Security Disability limits the amount of money I can earn while receiving benefits. Further, I am convinced that, in part, my illness was caused by self-will run riot because I was obsessed with chasing fame and success. I worked a full-time, high-pressure job and on the side, kept banging my head against the wall trying to achieve in ways that clearly weren’t meant for me. So I was blindly throwing away money and time in a reckless pursuit of a dream that I couldn’t make happen.

There is a difference between persistence and delusion. I was far gone past the former and deep into the latter.
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