Things aren't adding up.
My kids and I got into a discussion this week about subscriptions, and how surprised we all are at how much we’re paying in total on these monthly fees. My daughter was surprised to find she’s paying almost $100. I added mine up and gulped when it passed $300. And most of these monthly charges are $5-$12.
What the heck?
(Side note: That Subscribe button is hilarious in a post about unsubscribing. That said, I’d love if you followed along by subscribing, if you aren’t already)
This is a maddening subject because every damn thing is moving toward a subscription-based program instead of letting you just purchase outright. You’re then stuck paying this “small” fee on a monthly basis forever because you become so dependent on it. A million small fees later… And, of course, each of these small fees experiences a teeny tiny increase every year.
It’s no wonder we’re all broke.
The subject came up because I received a note from Adobe congratulating me on my coming graduation and letting me know my student rate was ending for Creative Cloud, a program I rely on in my author and freelance business.
First off, I have not graduated college. I dropped out just before the pandemic, and I also had no idea I was receiving a student rate. Second, the “student rate” already felt too expensive, and now it’s increasing $25/month.
This announcement, plus my tally of subscriptions I’ve racked up, sent me spiraling into a purge whirlwind. I looked at my list of subscriptions and had a deep heart-to-heart with myself over what I actually needed and what I’m paying for just because I haven’t quit. I managed to delete $100 in small fees from my monthly subscriptions, which was a good start (though I’m sure I can do better).
I also quit Creative Cloud in a moment of empowerment, deciding I could figure out a new way. And then I stressed about it for the rest of the day, because I really do use it every day.
I ended up subscribing back to the two CC programs I use the most, which is still less money than what I’ll be paying after “graduation,” but only by $10.
It’s a start.
☂ ☂ ☂
This whole exercise made me think about all the things we tend to do just because that’s what we know—what we’ve subscribed to all our lives. The tiny fractions of time. The tiny habits we maintain. The beliefs we hold on to. The dreams we hold on to. The negative things we say to ourselves. The harmful words from our childhood. The doubts. The fears. The boxes we place ourselves in.
The ways we hold ourselves back because this thing is all we know.
Last night I went to dinner with a friend and I told her how relieving it is to not see my author income as the thing that will save me—how loving my new job (and its income) has released me from the pressure of trying and failing to earn a living off my books. My new job has offered me the freedom of writing for pleasure rather than profit. This is a good thing. But something in what I said made her believe I was quitting writing altogether… And while I assured her I’m still writing books, I’m also aware that I go through this cycle all of the time, that I might be going through it again—believing the book I’m working on might be my last.
Am I writing books because it’s my passion? Or am I doing it because it’s what I always wanted and I don’t know how to have another dream?
What I do know is that I love writing, but I don’t love having to follow trends or be inauthentic just to get people to read my books.
What I also know is that I have really appreciated the past few months of stillness around the career part of my writing because it’s allowed me the space to, you know, WRITE.
At any rate, I have some inventory to do as I figure out what’s working for me in my life, and what I need to unsubscribe from. I think that’s my focus for 2023—UNSUBSCRIBE.
What I’m writing
Admittedly, not a whole lot this week. I have not touched the Sunset Bay series once this week, and I’m sure it’s because my final task is to write the final third of the book and it feels a bit daunting. I’ve also been abnormally busy, but I’m willing to admit that some of my busy-ness has been a tactic to keep me from writing. So to hold me accountable, I’m letting you know that this week I will make headway on this novel.
What I’m reading
Four out of these five books were 5-star reads. The End Zone was a novella, so the story elements needed to happen quickly. And they did….a bit too quickly. But I still enjoyed it, so I gave it 4 stars. As for the others, they were a strong start to 2023’s year of reading. My favorite book this month was Thorne Princess, though The Stolen Heir is a super close second.
The hyperlinked titles will lead you to my gushing reviews. Be sure to scroll down to the books section.
What I’m listening to
I love Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach, and Sister (Amanda Doyle), especially because they share so much realness on their podcast We Can Do Hard Things. This week was no exception as Glennon shared the messy middle of her struggle with anorexia (episode 172 wherever you listen to podcasts), and the journey she’s taking in her healing process. This podcast brought me to tears as Glennon shared about moving away from the anorexia voice that made her afraid of food, and the process of grief as she’s done so. I’m not suffering from anorexia, but as a woman, I’m not immune to the struggle with food. In fact, just yesterday my stepson asked my husband if I had any current diet restrictions as he planned things to bring for dinner. Because I’m always on a diet (including now). Ouch. That’s just a side note, though, because what this episode really stirred up in me was the grief in letting go of certain belief systems (unsubscribing, if you will). How it’s necessary to get to the parts of life that are so much better, but the process of healing will include an uncomfortable unraveling that includes anger, sadness, isolation, fear, and a whole slew of other emotions until you finally reach the promised land of acceptance.
Go listen to this episode. It’s the realest.
What I’m obsessed with
My work office and its gorgeous view. In the morning, the sun shines perfectly through the side windows, offering me a place to stand and soak it up like a cat while I take my calls or brainstorm my day. I feel so lucky to be here.
I don’t just write rambling blog posts, I also write novels. Find them all here.