Free does not mean without a price.

So we got a new dog.  We didn’t pay for her because she was free.  Kind of.  DH was the middle man between his dad and the breeder.  You see, DH and his dad are hunters.  Pheasants are popular in our frying pan.

A few years back, Father-In-Law’s hunting dog passed away.  He’s not done hunting, so he borrows our lab for his trips to the South Dakota corn fields.

Sadly, our geriatric canine made her last trip in November.  So, my ever-generous and not-quite-done-hunting FIL offered to buy our next dog.  Alas, Dear Hubby took him up on it so they may continue the annual hunts. 

But she wasn’t really free.  We’ve bought a kennel, a pillow, chew toys, new socks, peroxide to vomit up the old socks, vet bills, worm medicine and special dog food.  We’ve cleaned carpets, chased her around fences, vacuumed daily and put our home into lock-down mode.  We spend hours taking her potty when she doesn’t have to go and even more time watching her roam the house in case she actually does.  Free, is an illusion.

Especially in the writing world.

Your education is not free.  Whether you earned an MFA or barely eked out your GED, the price of learning to write is time and effort.

There is not short cut.  No magic wand.  No miracle pill.  Rather, getting published is hard work.  

Nothing is free.  Not in life and not in writing. 

What does writing cost you?  Is it worth the price?  Do you have a set cap on how much you’re willing to spend before you hang up the hunting gear?

Me?  It costs sleep, time away from my kids, hours in the car to attend conferences, fewer lazy evenings with DH and less time to housebreak the new pooch. 

You know what I’ve learned?  Guilt is damn expensive.

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2 responses to “Free does not mean without a price.

  1. I’ve known a few “free” dogs (complete with vet bills, etc.) and I agree with your assessments. Indeed, nothing is free in life. Not love, not lunch, not even radicals.

    But as a writer, the steepest price you pay is when you quit, and all the free thoughts that pop into your brain have noplace to be cultivated.

    • Oooh, what a chilling thought. And so true too. Reminds me of the shadow thingies at the end of GHOST where they seep out from behind everything and drag you down into the blackness. If we have no place to go with our ideas, they can suffocate us!

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