£3 000 000 would do it – would be enough to give up work, pay all debts, buy a London flat in an area of my choice, generate an independent income, and give up work for the writing life forever. In the scheme of things it’s not a lot of money. I wouldn’t be idly rich – I’d finish my PhD and do it well; instead of this piece-meal paltry pursuit of publication I could write so much more; walk the dog, do lunch and be a loving generous parent. And, very possibly a loving wife.
Not that money is what i need to make me happy. No, that makes me sound so materialistic – and while I am to a normal extent, I do know that money does not buy a whole raft of things – love, health, an ability to play the sax and speak fluent french like a native. But it buys time – in the not having to work to earn money way of buying time. Thus I would be less stressed, less tired, more relaxed, kinder and I would laugh and smile far more often. Indeed I would become a much nicer human being. This is why money would be good: freedom from worry about money – bills, mortgages, children’s needs – and therefore the ability to make it a non-entity in one’s life.
So enough to eliminate the drudgery of work and bills, enough to free time and the spirit and the imagination. Not a lot, not a fortune, but enough. But from where?
Well, lotto isn’t working; I haven’t made the JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer break-through; I’n not going to turn into a middle aged Ronnie Biggs; and I’ve got no brain for money-making schemes, otherwise I’d not be lamenting my lack of money here in cyber-space. So, dear reader, you know the answer – work. I must continue working until – and very possibly beyond – retirement.
Indeed, my little financial fantasy flurry is prompted purely by the return to work after a simply sublime holiday. Work is not as terrible as it could be, or as it was. My pay is not pathetic, but oh, I do long for freedom from work, from the grind, from debt and anxiety that modern life imbues us all with. In this, at least I am not alone.