Scenario: You are delivered a certified letter stating you have inherited $2 million set to dispense one year from the moment of delivery. The only stipulation is that you must write full time at the end of that year. How would you prepare?
First I would give my dialysis clinic a 90 day notice, explaining that I would be leaving nursing and returning back to school. I would then cut up all credit cards (after paying them off) and settle all medical bills with my vacation payout. Next, I would sell everything I owned to replenish my overstretched bank account, including my car, pack Angelina and my old man cat up and hop the first flight available to Cuba where I would spend the rest of the year mapping out a story board for several novels and at least two scripts.
I choose Cuba because Angelina’s family is there, it is a beautiful island rich in history and culture, the cost of living would carry me comfortably for at least three years so I could fully immerse myself in the culture, challenge myself to learn the language along with my daughter, and because the island is barely wired I’d have a lot of time to myself to allow my imagination free reign.
Right before the year was up I would decide where I’d like to live, my first guess would be in the Keys, in an affordable home paid in full, living modestly as I began work on two of my favorite writing projects, Angelina and Juju at my side providing constant entertainment.
I would tell no one I had inherited the money but I would reach out with anonymous acts of kindness first to those who helped me, then those who encourage me, and finally those that share my dream but don’t see a way out. Two hundred thousand would be investments like stocks, an IRA, and a trust fund for Angelina. Another one hundred thousand would establish a scholarship fund for black female writers looking to break through.
It takes a lot of discipline to have a sum of money and not blow through it living the life but I’ve always had a saver’s heart and a generous soul. While I have the dream of writing full time, it is far from fantasy. It is as do-able as long as you are willing to pursue it at all cost, with both hands. The inheritance was a benevolent gift to me and those who have always been there to loan a hand.