Response to not receiving my artist grant 11/14/2015


i don’t want to dream
too big
too big
cause i don’t want to fall
so far
so far

i just want to dream
a little bit
a little bit
and take
one step forward
never looking back
never looking back.

I’d already started to plan for how I would distribute money over my projects. I was going to pay for health insurance for a year.  My job reviews how many hours we work for health insurance every six months.  So even if I were willing to take the financial hit to take time and write, I couldn’t keep my health insurance.  I’d like to just take the Affordable Health Insurance, so I’m not having to constantly stress about whether I’m getting and/or working enough hours.

I was going to take a couple weeks to tour with my poetry book.  I’d already started to discuss with another poet how we would book the tour, through bookstores, coffee shops, poetry groups and colleges.  Something told me to wait until I found out if I actually got the grant before I got too emotionally invested.

I was going to cut my hours at work so I could focus on producing more projects.  I think I could get three books out next year if I owned more of my time.  When I moved to St. Louis and was looking for a new job, I also completed a novel.  Editing and rewriting was consuming.  With minimal time obligations it took about six months.  Now I’m so tired some days, I don’t answer the phone or even open my laptop.

I planned to work part time and work full time on my projects.  Which meant spending entire days at the library.  Especially since this current project is also research intensive.

The long term goal was to produce enough work, that it would sustain me… And I could permanently work part time and create full time.

I had already started interviewing editors who specialize in dialect.  I want my work to always be improving.  I was going to actually have money to pay professional editors.  Not that I don’t love my friends and appreciate their feedback.  I just feel a few professional editors would be a great addition to the process.  Not to mention, I learned so much from the writer who edited my first book.

It would be awesome to get a budget for the video I’ve been trying to complete.  I have so many projects going at one time, so few financial resources and I’m dividing what little I have between them… sometimes it feels impossible.

I can still do all the things I want, but it’s a struggle. I make just enough to live… So, not getting this grant is not going to stop my work but it will delay it.  I’ll just have to go on payment plans with editors and cover producers.  It’s heartbreaking to say the least.


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