Don’t Write in Spite of Your Life

Yesterday I saw an article on the Internet about a list of the ten jobs with the highest rate of depression. Of course, writers/artists/creative careers was on the list (all lumped together). I have also heard many different talks and seminars in which the speaker discusses how to work around your life to be a writer.

It seems like there’s a message going around that nearly everyone is buying into: if you want your creative life to be your career, you have to deny your current life to “make it.”

This train of thought bothers me. To begin with, I’d venture to guess that every creative person works partially from their life experiences. For me personally, I wouldn’t have the life I have as a writer and journalist if it weren’t for the part of my life that pays (all of) the bills, provides stability, and gives me a robust environment to interact with other people.

Most creative types probably end up feeling frustrated because they want to put 100 percent of their time and energy into their craft. I have had those moments more than once. But on second thought, I am extremely grateful for the life I have, which allows me to also have a life as a writer. The two are in harmony, not in competition. And if someday I “make it,” whatever that means, maybe I will be able to devote my time to this craft full-time. But the moment I am in now is so rich and full of possibilities, I’d be crazy not to savor and appreciate it.

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