Today has been one of those days where I just haven’t really got any work done. It’s a Saturday, so I can’t deposit the money made in Edinburgh into the bank [side note – the youth arts event wasn’t very lucrative, but I set up my stall in the street the next day and made back my fuel costs and a little extra]… which is the only thing that will really set my mind at ease.
I’m worried about direct debits. I sorted out my mobile phone, but the car repayments and internet provision need to be redirected to the business account. It’s all fairly banal stuff, but it just reinforces how far away I am at the moment from actually providing for myself with this venture.
Today I wanted to go into town and set up my stall, but something was holding me back. I stayed in and sorted the alphabet beads instead for the bracelets I sell at stalls, but it felt like I was hiding. Am I embarrassed? This is my hometown… I feel so much more vulnerable here in Dundee. Like, what if my old colleagues at the newspaper saw me. Or people from my secondary school. Or acquaintances from university. I really need to get out of this city next year.
Tomorrow I will do it. I’ll go down to the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) or around the independent shops on Exchange Street, Castle Street or the Perth Road. I’ll set up my little trolley and my zines and sell my publications on the sidewalk. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Right? Direct sales has always been the core of the business – getting stocked in shops and having an online shop are just the next level. Selling in the street – that’s proper. No-one can say I’m not earning my housing benefit.
Urgh, maybe that’s what this feeling is about. I’m so disheartened to still be relying on state handouts to pay my rent. All I want is to be properly self-sufficient. Free. I guess most people want that too though. I had to hand over three months worth of receipts to the housing office of the city council. They’re checking it all before we get the housing benefits through. I’ve never done bookkeeping before. I keep getting this lump in my throat. Will it be okay? What on earth are we going to do if it isn’t. How can I drive down to Bristol and host a poetry night when there’s a risk I’ll return home to an eviction notice?
But, that’s just life at the moment. It’s just like the summer of 2012, when my parents finalised their divorce and my mum, my little brother and I became homeless for a few months. I still went down to London and did that unpaid internship with the Gay Times (using emergency hardship money from the university). You can’t let these things scare you to the point where you can’t move for fear. Either I’ll make enough money over the next few days to get down to Bristol or I won’t. I just need to go into town tomorrow. Parking is free in the city centre until 1pm.
I’ve lost track of the International Zine Month challenges. Sorry. I’ll try again next year.
I better go finish making bracelets.