Fear of (no) Money

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Fear of (no) Money

To celebrate the two year anniversary of my anxiety dragon book, Empath, I’m re-posting the #SlayYourFears series. Basically, I took a leap of faith and wrote about all the things that scared me. I hoped sharing them would help others realize they weren’t alone. Today, I’m talking about my fear of no money.

Check the end of the post for a giveaway and a two year progress report update.

Empath is also on sale this week for $0.99!

I am afraid that I will run out of money.

Originally Published May 2015

The fear of no money drove me to get a boring day job. This is a fear that has driven me for years to do things like take a boring day job instead of doing creative things. Now that I’m trying to do creative things instead of the boring day job, I’m coming face to face with this fear.

In 2015, I attended six conventions in eight weeks at the start of the year. I was very nervous about the whole thing. I was already in the hole money-wise on the business. There I was, digging myself in deeper with the hope that I could boost myself out.

The Anghenfil was in my head, the fire-breathing bastard, saying, “What happens if you don’t sell any books? What happens if you end up farther in debt?” That fear ruminated in the back of my head, roaring whenever I put down my credit card to pay for a planet ticket or purchase more books.

I’d get anxious when sales would slow. Then, I’d start chewing off my nails when the minutes ticked by and cash was not exchanged. And when I’d have to lug back a shit-ton of books on the plane, I’d look over my expenses and second-guess everything I ever purchased.

I’d hope that maybe the next one, the next event would be the silver bullet to get me out of the hole, and then, disappointment.

At the end of it all, I lost a lot of money.

The very thing I was afraid of has happened.

In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “Oh God, am I going to die? Am I a complete and total failure? Is my dream gone?”

(Spoiler alert: I’m still alive. I’m not a failure. My dream is perfectly in tact.)

Unfortunately, I can’t predict how an event will go, as hard as I try. For example, I thought I’d have 30 of the 80 books leftover in Indy and I sold out at 1pm on Sunday. I thought I could get through 34 books in Chicago and ended up with 16 left. I can’t predict the weather and shit happens. Like in New York, when snow reduced the folks who came out to the event and forced me to make travel changes.

Coping with It

The only thing I can do is to prepare the best I know how.

In the future, I’m not going to be spending as much money on events. This six week mini-tour was mostly a flying adventure (hello flying anxiety), which added another $500 to the cost of the event. I am still gainfully employed by a company that expected me to be in the office Monday mornings. Driving to and from an event was a non-starter. Therefore, I was at the whim of the airline industry – between checked bags (realized that this was a bad idea after the first event) then shipping books to events (upwards of $100 for shipping and handling) and just the price of the tickets themselves, yeesh. And the only event I made money on, I drove to.

And the last thing to remember is that money is not everything. Okay, that’s a lie – it is everything, but money made right now is not the only money ever made. Attending a convention is like planting a seed, or a bunch of seeds. The more books I sell, the more cards I give out, the more seeds I’m tossing. The more cities I toss seeds in, the more chance that those seeds will pollinate (that is, fans who read the book pass it on to their friends).

Soon, everyone will have Razia in their home.

Now is the Start

Case in point: I’ve got a steady stream of purchases for the ebook. And none of this includes Empath. Nor does it account for the folks who received a business card for SGR-P and who are considering hiring me for their edit jobs. Nor does it account for the folks who are still reading Double Life who picked it up more recently, who will turn around and pick up Alliances and the rest of the series.

So yeah, I do have a pretty hefty amount on the credit card. I don’t have a magic wand that will magically make the debt disappear (Update: Yes, I did, it’s called Selling A House and Tax Season). It’s a very long game that is only in the first fifteen minutes. While I didn’t want to lose money, the fact of the matter is, I could at this point because I’m not dependent on the writing to pay my bills. And because at this point I’m planting the seeds, in six months, a year, two years, five years, I’ll be able to reap what I’ve sown.

Yet again, the clear lesson here is you can’t let fear control your life. You can’t let fear stop you from taking risks because you might fail. And if you do fail, don’t ignore the small beginnings of something new that came out of it. Because things didn’t work out right now, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.


Buy Empath for Kindle, Paperback, or Hardcover.

Slay Your Fears: Two Years Later

Of all the fears that I’ve overcome, this is the one I’ve made the most progress on. I was able to significantly reduce my expenses and quit my job in November 2015. After dabbling with a little coffee shop work, I’ve found my stride in freelancing – both editing and some ad hoc SharePoint work. I sold my house in January of this year, and am now dipping my toe into house-flipping, although that isn’t going as fast as I’d like.

The lesson here is that with patience, luck, and hard work, the Universe provides. Instead of panicking and making a jump into something I don’t want because of fear, I bided my time. Eventually, with persistence, I found a few jobs that allow me to continue writing and doing my SGR-P thing. It takes a bit of juggling to make it all work, but it does.

And the publishing company? We’re actually doing remarkably well balancing investments and income. Right now, we’re taking a bit of a new-project-funding hiatus to catch up on publishing nine projects in 2016. Also, with my home life situation up in the air, I didn’t want to commit to events after June. But I’ve got my eye on February 2018 with Demon Spring and Pensacon, so you know I’ll be right back out there.



Slay Your Fears with Empath

After a mysterious voice promises an easy out to her problems, Lauren finds herself in a fantasy world with magical powers. Just one problem: There’s a dragon that might want to eat her.

Available Now

From bestselling author S. Usher Evans comes a unique take about a real-world girl transported to a fantasy land and faced with a dragon that just might be the manifestation of her mental illness. Empath has “broken the feels” of readers around the world and helped them slay their own fears. 

“I think we should just cut our losses and move on.”

If you ask Lauren Dailey, things are totally fine after the breakup. She doesn’t care that all her friends are getting engaged and moving on with their lives when all her dreams went up in smoke. She’s not crying herself to sleep every night. Everything is A-OK.

That is, until a mysterious voice promises an easy out to all her problems, and she wakes up in a fantasy world with the powers of an empath.

Without a way home, Lauren embraces her new life. There’s a village full of interesting characters, including Cefin, a handsome young man who’s everything a fantasy hero should be. She’s getting the hang of doing laundry in the river. And when she uses her empath powers, she’s temporarily distracted from the sadness that followed her from California and crops up at the most inconvenient times.

Still, there’s one large, dragon-shaped problem: The Anghenfil lives in the mountains nearby, and some say he’s got a taste for empaths. And Lauren’s afraid it might just be that mysterious voice tempting her deeper into her own darkness.

Empath will transport readers to a new world, while remaining firmly rooted in the realities of dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Recommended for readers who need help overcoming their own dragons.

This is a stand-alone novel. Content warnings for suicide, substance abuse, and adult situations.

Praise for Empath

★★★★★ “A pint of ice cream for your soul.” – Erin Sky, author of The Wendy

★★★★ “A brilliant allegory” – Elizabeth F., Goodreads Reviewer

★★★★★ “As someone who faces anxiety on a daily basis, this book spoke to me.” – Katrina M., Goodreads Reviewer

★★★★★ “Empath is encouragement to accept your whole self and move forward into great adventure.” – Sierra D., Goodreads Reviewer

Empath Blog Posts and the Slay Your Fears Series

Empath, Passion Projects, and Slaying Your Fears

Two years ago today, I released a little passion project called Empath. Nicknamed the "anxiety dragon" book, Empath was less about "what's popular" and more about pouring my loneliness and ache for home into something else so it would leave me. I'd become overwhelmed with my anxiety, which flares and spirals [...]

Fear of Fear

There's nothing to fear but fear itself, but fear is pretty damned scary. This week, I've been sharing posts from 2015 about the things that scare me, updating them with progress for 2017. For the last post of the week, it's time to talk about the fear of fear. Empath is [...]

Fear of Rejection

A few years ago, I wrote some blogs about my biggest fears to celebrate the release of Empath, a book about a girl and her anxiety dragon. Two years later, I'm looking back on the fears I used to have to see how they stack up. Today, my fear of rejection. [...]

Fear of Being Alone Forever

When you have a fear of being alone forever, you make some dumb decisions. A few years ago, I wrote this blog post (plus a few more) when Empath was releasing. I wanted to share all the things I was afraid of, hoping someone might not feel alone. Two years later, [...]

Fear of (no) Money

To celebrate the two year anniversary of my anxiety dragon book, Empath, I'm re-posting the #SlayYourFears series. Basically, I took a leap of faith and wrote about all the things that scared me. I hoped sharing them would help others realize they weren't alone. Today, I'm talking about my fear of [...]

Empath Release!

About the Book Lauren Dailey is in break-up hell. Stuck between moving on and letting go, she puts on a brave face while crying herself to sleep at night. But when a mysterious voice promises escape from her sadness, she is suddenly transported to a new world. And in this place, [...]


Even though the relationship ended 20+ months ago, I've still had a hard time moving on. But I had an interesting thought on the metro a few days ago. I was passing by my ex's house, which I so happily have to do every morning on the way to work, and [...]

On First Drafts

Empath is the first "new" first draft that I've written in something like fifteen years. The spirit and character names come from a story I wrote when I was 12, but that story was written by a 12-year-old, and h'obviously needed to be scrapped. The characters as they exist today are strangers [...]

Taming the Dragon

I received a cordial email this week from the guy I broke up with almost sixteen months ago. I had posted on LinkedIn (the only social media that survived the connection-severing spree when we first broke up) that I had started a new company, and amidst the flurry of congratulations from [...]


Forward: To be honest, I wasn't sure that I wanted to post this. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, I've moved on. But still, I felt like there were some things unsaid that I wanted to say to mark the occasion. So, in the end, I decided to let it fly. One year ago, [...]

By |2017-04-19T10:08:23-05:00May 8th, 2017|Empath|2 Comments

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  1. Lili @ Reading Against Time May 9, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    “Yet again, the clear lesson here is that you cannot let fear control your life. You can’t let fear stop you from taking risks because you might fail. And if you do fail, don’t ignore the small beginnings of something new that came out of it. Because things didn’t work out right now, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.”

    AMEN, AMEN AND AMEN! Maybe things aren’t going so great right now, but hopefully they will in the future as long as you don’t give up! ♥

    • S. Usher Evans May 10, 2016 at 9:33 am

      My new favorite phrase is “worry is a downpayment on a problem you may never have.” The trick is to catch yourself in the beginning before it gets too bad.

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