Gainfully employed for the last fifteen years (or so), not in a position of high salary, yet expressing a degree of contentment with her lot, she realizes that her “calling” —fulfilling that dream—must now take precedence.
“[T]ruth be told, I am a talented writer.” Bold typeface proclaims this, in her pitch for donations. Her online funding campaign has gone on for less than a week, and already she has netted more than $100 from various contributors, with promises of more to come.
She has many book ideas; has written some poems; and has a blog—so the description informs. Various incentives are offered, or “rewards”: for contributing at one level, you might get a personalized poem; at a higher level, the opportunity to read a draft of a manuscript in progress.
You may wonder that I am not providing you with links. Truth to tell, she has a wider circle of friends and acquaintances than I imagine there is traffic to this website. I myself—due to the hard times of a writer—was not in a position to solicit a donation from myself on her behalf. Too often, I have relied on charity from others when buying time to write, or ink cartridges, or whatever. Otherwise I have been, at times, ruthlessly frugal, and zealous in guarding my time.
But I thought I might offer words of counsel.
Vaguely I remembered the tale of Montaigne—that he did not start writing until in his forties, and then, it was only when he noticed that he had ten or fifteen minutes of spare time in the morning—every morning—that he decided to fill with jottings.
I may have gotten the story wrong, or it may belong to some other eminent personage. So after conveying the anecdote (not stopping to fact check), I wanted to add: “Of course, the story might be spurious.” But I wasn’t sure she would understand my word “spurious.” Instead I wrote, “Good luck with your campaign but keep in mind there are other alternatives if the bills outpace what you can raise. Even if the story is a lie it’s a good one [smile emoticon].” (If this was clumsy phrasing it was off the cuff and for Facebook.)
Before I saw that the comment had been deleted, I received a huffy private message: “Are you implying that I am lying in my plea[?]” followed seconds later by another: “I don’t lie.”