My car’s a piece of crap, but it starts up whenever I turn the key. Most times I don’t even need to yell at it. I’ve got an old TV, a DVD player, a Wii, and this laptop. I have a nice coat I bought a couple years ago and a small collection of signed books. Other than that, the most expensive thing I own is probably my fishtank and its assorted apparati–and it’s a freshwater ten gallon.

I think I can count on one hand the number of DVDs and CDs I’ve bought this year. I’ve got a lot of books and a small DVD library, but both these collections accumulate slowly.

I don’t not buy things for some moral or spiritual reason; if I look like a monk, it’s coincidence, not purity. I think monks go to church sometimes. They’re also not supposed to be this fond of vodka.

I’m lucky in that I seem to lack the consumer gene–it just doesn’t occur to me to buy things, although that may be a byproduct of never having money–but my amaterialism is also a product of valuing my writing career more highly than I value.. whatever it is people buy. New cars? Jeans so stiff you need pliers to get into them? TVs so huge they could double as a supporting wall? (Okay, now that one I do want.) Every hour I spend at work piling up fat stacks is one less hour I have to devote to honing my skillz. One hour further away from living as a professional in the field I want to work in.

That’s the real reason I don’t buy stuff. Stuff isn’t worth it, and neither’s what I have to do to make the money I’d need to buy it. Trust me, when I have money, I’ll buy a flatscreen TV so huge I’ll have to knock down a wall to make room for the team of elephants it’ll take to deliver it. But when I buy that TV, it’ll be with money I made doing what I’ve always wanted to do.

In the meantime, I don’t need it. When you know why you don’t need it, it’s no trouble to forego.

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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