There’s a video I saw the other day of some creative in an interview with Larry King and Larry King asks the guy what his favorite luxury item is and the guy tries to give an answer and Larry King is like, no, a luxury item, and the guy goes into a long discussion of the expensive socks he really likes while Larry King stares at him like he’s crazy. When he’s done Larry King says he was looking for something more along the lines of a private jet, not socks.

But I get it, I do. I’m like that dude with the socks.

When I was consulting and earning more money than I really needed I’d entertain myself with shopping on the weekends. Best Buy was a favorite stop. I’d pick up this movie or that TV series or that CD. (Or all of the above.) Clothes were another big one. Not to mention shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. DSW loved me.

Now that I’m writing, though, I just don’t feel the need for that stuff in the same way. Instead of spending my weekend spending my money, I just write more. Or think about writing more.

I was given some gift certificates and money for Christmas (because we were not going to get together no way no how this year, thank you very much, so pretty much all of this year’s gifts were cash or gift certificates). And I spent the last hour browsing through websites with no idea what to use them on.

I literally searched the Macy’s website when I got a gift certificate for there to see if they carry the vacuum filter I need to replace. And when REI sent their sale email today I checked to see if the type of socks I like were on sale. I thought maybe I could find little loaf pans to make small lasagna in, but really that was kind of it for what I wanted.

I had no idea what to use any of it for. (Normally I’d want books. That hasn’t gone away. But I currently have a stack of twelve of them on the kitchen table that I need to read first and there are really no books I’ve been dying to buy.)

It’s odd how that shift happens. You step away from a world that stresses you out where impressing others matters and it all just…goes away. That driving desire to acquire things just disappears.

I do miss good food and travel. (I once laughed about a guy who told me he bought the good cheese as a selling point for dating him, but I now have my days where I wish someone would buy me some basil-infused Gouda…)

If I suddenly won the lottery tomorrow I’d probably spend more on that sort of thing. (Maybe not the travel right now; there’s a snoring dog in the other room who I wouldn’t abandon long enough to actually enjoy it.)

But fancy cars? Big houses? Lots of clothes?


They all just lose their shine now that I can spend my days living in worlds I create…

Which is not to say that I don’t want to earn money from my writing. I do. So don’t go pirating things because you think that creatives get enough from the joy of creating that they don’t need to eat, put clothes on their body, or a roof over their heads. Or that they don’t deserve a fair compensation for what they do. That is absolutely not what I’m saying.

I’m just saying that I will probably use those gift cards I received on…socks. And be pleased that I got exactly what I wanted.

Author: M.L. Humphrey

M.L. Humphrey is an author who has been published under a variety of pen names and across a variety of subjects and genres. You can contact M.L. at mlhumphreywriter [at]

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