Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bringing Home the Bacon

Swiss Olympic Gold Medal Prize
You, I'm sure, were as amused as I when it was made public that for representing his country so well at Sochi, Swiss cross-country double gold medalist Daris Cologna received a pig. Yep, a cute little pink porker.

In the publicity photos, Daris appeared very pleased. He was quite gracious to his benefactors, smiled broadly and promptly named his prize Sochi.

This while Russian athletes each received $120k cash + a $146k Mercedes SUV for a gold medal, $76k cash + $99k Mercedes for silver, and $52K cash + $59k Mercedes for bronze.

Americans didn't fare so badly either, receiving $25k for gold, $15k for silver, and $10k for bronze. No luxury vehicles, though. Not even a Vespa.

But Daris got a pig. And then he hit the slopes to begin practicing for the next Olympics.

Why does he do it? What drives him to continue grueling training when the reward is so meager?

Hmm. Why do you do it? Why do you continue that specific activity - you know, the one that eats (like a pig) all your time, attention and energy - although the pay-out is miniscule?

We all have them. Projects/jobs/dreams that we pursue week after week, month after month, sometimes for years on end, that we just can't let go. The activity isn't particularly lucrative; in fact sometimes quite the opposite - it drains our piggy banks dry. The return for our investment may not be in dollars; it may an intangible benefit like improving yourself, satisfaction for a job well done, knowing that you helped someone, or maybe even proving something to someone.

Whatever the motivation, it's there, it's strong and it keeps us going.

Writing is like that for me. I write despite the money, not because of it. Contrary to what most people think, Christian writers do not get rich. Most can't afford to quit their day jobs. I recently went to a book signing for a hugely known, award-winning, bestselling author of over 100 books (several hit the New York Times bestselling list) who confessed to recently starting a photography business to make ends meet.

The other authors in the room (including myself) all nodded in complete understanding like a conveyor belt full of bobble-head dolls.

Yet I keep writing. Book #14 is due to come out this fall and since 6 o'clock this morning (and yesterday and all the days before that), I've been parked in front of my monitor developing CCCB (Computer Chair Cauliflower Buns).

Why? Because I can't not write. Because what's most important to me is to produce the fruit of my passion and follow my life calling. Whether it brings home the bacon or not.

I might just call my next book Sochi as a reminder that some things in life are worth buns of dough instead of buns of steel. Just because.

What's your little pink pig?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Debora. Personally speaking, I know I allow myself to get caught up in the frustration of "why do I write?" The vast majority of the time, I write out of passion. However, it's easy to slip into the notion that writing has become a chore. Thank you for reminding me to focus on my little piggy every time I undertake a new writing effort. I will say this, however: Pay me in bacon and I'll write until my fingers fall off. :D