|Jean-Michel Basquiat, "Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump"|
Any of these jobs sound familiar? If you're a writer, I'd bet at least one. I'd also bet that, as a writer, you've said least one of the following lines to explain why.
"It's temporary." Or...
"I'm just working this gig to make contacts in the industry". And my personal favorite...
"It pays the bills and leaves me time to write."
Load of crap!
Art is never free, and someone always has to pay the bills.
Unless you're a young Quentin Tarantino sitting behind the counter at Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, working a near-minimum-wage job so you can make contacts is like the alcoholic bartender who drinks his mistakes to help him perfect his craft.
So I'll ask the question again. What have you done for your art? I'll tell you what I did for mine.
First, I quit my low-pay, make-no-contacts night job. I traded it in for a real job. A day job.
I hated it. I got over it. I mean, even Bukowski had a real job. And I'm pretty sure he wasn't making industry contacts while sorting mail for the U.S. Postal Service.
Brendan Behan, the Irish playwright and poet, once explained that he was, "...a drinker with a writing problem". And he was right. I've never heard of a twelve-step program for writing.
Writing is hard. You have to be harder.
I'm writing again.
Copyright © 2010 Bill Friday