Friday, June 29, 2007

Is it all about the money?

Or publication?

Validation: How do you get that?

(Possible whine warning)

I have a habit of choosing pursuits that don't pay much, if at all: first, modern dance; then, poetry. I don't write for the money. I have a day job for that, and I just have to struggle with the fear that I'm selling out and the wish that I could write more and read more and then write even more.

Part of it's time management, but it's also hard to carve out that time or that management when there is so little in the way of lucre remuneration or recognition (another yardstick). It runs dangerously close to becoming a hobby and falling to the end of the list, after the job and the cooking and the laundry and cutting back the blackberry brambles (which I had better do soon).

Does not getting paid or prized make your work less valid? Does not getting poems or manuscripts accepted make your work less valid?

My guess, thinking from my own experience, is that we keep creating whether anyone else thinks its valid or not.

But do you ever feel like the one hand clapping or that tree in the forest falling?

2 comments:

aka Leonardo Likes Gulls said...

Does not getting paid or prized make your work less valid?
***Not at all. Our culture has a strange habit of believing wealth = importance, but some of the most important jobs are ones with lower pay-- teacher, artist, mother, father, farmer, barista (okay, I'm kidding on that one-- ;-) )

Does not getting poems or manuscripts accepted make your work less valid?
***No, I would write whether anyone published me or not. I just something I've never been able not to do. I do appreciate getting my work to a larger audience, but I don't depend on it.

Good questions.

Joannie said...

Points taken! And thank you for them. For me, writing is like eating--and I'm not about to give that up (now, if only I could write as much and as often as I eat). I may have muddled up my ideas. I guess I'm trying to ask how you (ahem) justify it to other people, particularly family, if you want to fly off somewhere to give a reading or do a workshop, which gets back to the wealth versus personal satisfaction point that you bring up and perhaps I've come full circle.

It comes down to this: My husband sells his art (furniture) and can make a living, so he can do it full time. I haven't been able to support my art in that same way.