Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic
I was at the sixth art fair of my first year of trying them — which is something I never thought I would do. Given that my other choice for reliable income was a real job, this seemed like a better option. Not today though, and not for the previous three festivals, either.
By late Saturday there hadn’t been a single sale, and my optimism for this venture was flagging. I zipped up the canopy at the end of the day with a dead feeling of despondence. Later on in the motel room my mood shifted down to the lowest gear. A full blown hissy fit of questioning all my life’s decisions to that point erupted — especially the part where the business plan I had written in my head didn’t include the $6,000 I had to carry in inventory plus the new trailer. That was stuck on my credit card from the First Extortionist Bank.
I grabbed my checkbook ledger, walked into the woods out of hearing distance from my fellow travelers and held it open to the stars. With both arms up-stretched I yelled, “Look at THIS!!” — From Chapter 14
It turned out my little diatribe at the Universe didn’t backfire, and a nice woman bought six original paintings the next day. It’s rather risky to holler at the gods. Desperation often forces questionable behavior, but when hard work and optimistic gratitude stop working, getting really worked up and letting loose sometimes does. Throwing a good tantrum is far better than, say, getting drunk and driving too fast. Or skidding to the dark side by cutting corners (stealing from myself) or theft (stealing from anyone else).
Creative entrepreneurial ventures are often ill-advised, always risky and endlessly intriguing. It is possible to have a full time vocation turning ideas into products for the marketplace — everything from hand crafts and music CDs to wall art, books and helpful tools. Artisans, musicians, writers and inventors have been doing this since before a homo sapien carver traded a plump little Venus sculpture for a chunk of mammoth haunch.
A real job with a dependable paycheck is the ideal route to stability. As it happens, some of us lack the skills to navigate that map. The bumpy do-it-yourself road takes ambition, drive, cunning, tens of thousands of hours of devoted concentration and, in my case, a personality disorder that precludes merging into the express lane of corporate culture. Over forty years I devised a more scenic route, and recently published this guidebook.
Stopping every so often to politely ask for help is always a good idea. Throwing the occasional pissy fit works, too… sometimes.
A signed copy of Mernie’s memoir is available at www.etsy.com/listing/839838936
Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold