I’m writing to you this morning from Café de Arts in Waukesha, WI. It’s a cute little café in a big, old Victorian house with a huge sunflower painted on the side. I so want to open my own business in an old house in my town and paint the house purple with a huge sunflower on the side. I even have the house picked out. It’s a foreclosure that’s been sitting empty for about three years, just calling me to buy it.
I have a dream of opening my own writer’s studio/café/bookstore where I can hang out with other writers and discuss our craft in a homey setting. I’m picturing fluffy couches with books lining the walls, and a barista conveniently stationed in a cozy corner.
I’d hang out all day, writing in my notebook in between talking story with my customers. Sometimes, I would offer writing classes and workshops for more focused work. Ultimately, I would create my own little writing community where I can plug in to my local writing scene and keep my creative juices flowing while offering the same service to others.
The question is, could I ever make such a venture profitable? Or, maybe I should take one further step back and ask, “Where in the world am I going to come up with the money to open such a place to begin with?”
Maybe it’s just a pipe dream, but it’s one I seem to keep returning to. I am a single mom, a part-time instructor at two separate technical colleges (because I’m apparently overqualified to do anything but teach, and NO ONE is hiring full-time teachers anymore.) I am perpetually broke, with two masters degree’s worth of student loans looming in my near future and two kids who will hopefully be heading off to college themselves in a few short years. Is this a dream I could realistically bring to reality?
I think sometimes, what I need is a wealthy patron, like in the old days. Someone who believes in my art for the art’s sake and will throw money at me to make sure my art can continue to happen. It’s hard to get any writing done when you’re teaching seven classes a semester.
But if I could open my own writer’s studio, writing would just be part of the job. Maybe it’s only a dream, but it’s a dream I’m not ready to let go of. When we stop dreaming, we stop living. So, I’ll keep dreaming that someone, someday, will come along and hand me a huge wad of money to make my dream happen. Because seriously, who would give me a loan?
What dreams are you holding on to? Please share in the comments below.
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