Defending DWYL

The “Do what you love” mantra took a broadside the other day, and it actually does serve to point out some areas where society has gotten things wrong.

No one is arguing that enjoyable work should be less so. But emotionally satisfying work is still work, and acknowledging it as such doesn’t undermine it in any way. Refusing to acknowledge it, on the other hand, opens the door to exploitation and harms all workers.… Nothing makes exploitation go down easier than convincing workers that they are doing what they love.

Anyone else get queasy thinking that the evident truth in those statements is a blow against doing what we love? But is it really? Can we draw a necessary conclusion from the disposition to do what we love to the fact of exploitation?

The criticism is that by loving what you do you invite exploitation. In other words, because we enjoy it, we’d probably be willing to work for less. While that may be true, the problem is not that people look at work as something they love but that this gets taken advantage of. Its blaming the victim rather than the culture of employment abuse. If there is a problem, its not with people doing what they love or them even referring to that as ‘non-work’.

Some people use the term ‘work’ in a pejorative sense because it often equates with drudgery. Aren’t they entitled to feel that way? What doesn’t follow from that is exploiting the people who believe this. If they are easy targets, then maybe what needs to change is how society treats these people rather than how they think about what they do.

The difficulty I have is that this attitude puts the blame for society’s inequities on the shoulders of the people who are being exploited. Loving what we do should have no bearing on sticking up for workers’ rights, in the same way as being young or poor doesn’t. In a culture where the poor are exploited for being willing to work for low wages just where do we point the blame? In cultures that don’t have child labor laws, where do we point the blame? At the victims of exploitation? I wonder……

It just seems like the author is describing a mugging, and finds fault with the victim who was innocently walking with their wallet in their back pocket. Do we blame the victim for not having left their wallet at home? Its putting a bull in a china shop and then blaming the china for being fragile…. How often is the victim of exploitation really responsible for their victimization? Is anything they did wrong actually worse than the exploitation itself? If there is an open door, its not always the people living inside who opened it. Folks looking to exploit ‘weakness’ will find a way regardless. They will barge in if you leave it cracked, but they will also break windows and pick locks. “Opening the door to exploitation” is simply an apology for the thieves of the world….

You can read the whole article here. If you’re like me it will be a disturbing read. Maybe that makes it even more important to read and be challenged by. Addressing such concerns means that hopefully we can find appropriate answers to these accusations.

The upshot of the article’s disparagement of the DWYL ethic is that “Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace.” As if that were somehow wrong or would necessarily lead to the exploitation described above. But thinking otherwise also seems contrary to what much of art is about. The job of artists is breaking the rules more often than following them. Making art quite often means precisely doing what we want rather than what we are told. As Tony Clennell just said in his blog, “Everyone told me you can’t sell shino. Usually that’s all I need to hear. My mum told me not to play in the mud or with matches so I turned it into a life.”

We don’t often get into art because we are enamored of the marketplace. We don’t become artists because we dream of selling art. As professionals those dreams can trouble us, but its not why we started out. An artist’s relation to selling their work is not necessarily typical. Making art isn’t simply a job where we are looking over our shoulder at the marketplace. For many of us it seems something more.

And the interesting thing is that the art marketplace pushes artists in that direction. Artists who follow the market don’t often end up advancing the field very much. The art marketplace actually encourages artists to not simply play it safe with their expression. Perhaps once artists have established themselves that changes, but artists are always encouraged to find their own niche and express things that are uniquely their own rather than simply the values that the marketplace has handed down. The easiest way for artists to innovate is by doing things for their own purposes, because these are the things they dream. In a sense, to serve the marketplace artists must also serve themselves.

But maybe artists are a special case anyway. A doctor who charges $5 for major surgery has an impact on what other doctors can charge. Perhaps in fields with industry-wide standards there is a responsibility to not simply give things away. And sometimes even in art we can see that one potter selling mugs for $5 undercuts other potters’ work in their selling area. But the difference with much of art is that the idea of quality is not always universal or objective. How do we know one mug actually IS worth $90 and another $24? Because someone can actually get $90 doesn’t mean that this should be the new industry wide standard. But how do we tell the difference?

As I pointed out in this recent post, the idea of quality in art aims at so many targets that it seems we often have to shoehorn different artists’ work to get a semblance of consistent pricing standards. A beginner aiming at not much of anything can still often sell a few pieces at prices experts wouldn’t scoff at. Sometimes they can do quite well for themselves, even. What does this tell us? And with some great dead artists commanding millions of dollars for their work, does that set the industry standard? Perhaps this is why so many artists are more concerned with branding than the actual quality of their work.…. Its perhaps a bit more complicated for artists.

Also, with artists having to negotiate prices on an individual basis there simply is no uniform standard to appeal to in the first place. And the further truth is that Art is so often seen as a luxury that society at large doesn’t value much of what we do, and sometimes can’t even understand why some of us get paid. Period. Throw into this equation that the culture of art donations preys on vulnerable artists to give their work away for free (in exchange for the supposed benefit of ‘exposure’) and we can see just how little control artists have over the situation. If things are bad for artists they certainly have help in making it that way…..

It is entirely possible that artists often simply see how difficult it is to scrape by even with low prices for their work and that if they are not doing it for intrinsic reasons they should probably be doing something else. In what sense does the production of art not start with serving the self, I wonder? If artists only served the marketplace there would be far fewer of us making art. Isn’t it our right to make art? And even if the world sometimes doesn’t want to pay much for it, isn’t it still important that there are practicing artists carrying out their creative visions? Does the marketplace come before the human need for art? Is the economy more valuable than human integrity and purpose? The truth seems to be that artists don’t get paid enough NOT to do what they love….

Picasso explains what many artists probably feel about their contributions to the culture of the world.

Picasso explains what many artists probably feel about their contributions to the culture of the world.

Another major problem I have with the article is that it seems to take types of labor as inherently joyful or joyless, or at least imputes that attitude to the “do what you love” crowd, making it an issue of the type of work rather than an issue of human psychology. The way things get divided out seem to reflect the author’s own biases rather than the potential for joy to be found in specific types of labor. She repeatedly presumes that specific jobs have nothing to offer the inner lives of those who do them.

Some jobs may be more difficult to find joy in, but joy is not always a reflection of what the work itself is as much as the surrounding contextual issues. If you have a rotten life you may not enjoy an otherwise fun job. The difference between a good boss and a bad one can be the difference between misery and bliss. And even who we work with or interact with on the job can make a huge difference. If we like our co-workers we end up feeling better about our work place. The job itself isn’t always the deciding factor.

Also, the “do what you love” mantra is less about finding a particular kind of work than finding the joy in what you do. The author seems to overlook this as a fundamental motivation. The truth seems to be that not everyone is cut out for the same jobs. We have to search for what things appeal to us. But even then our attitudes and opinions about what we are doing make a huge impact on whether we get any joy from our labors. The jobs themselves are not inherently joyful or joyless. So its also up to us to find what things are rewarding about them. That seems to be the larger message of the DWYL mantra.

Difficult jobs can be fulfilling and even joyful if they further our beliefs. Things that make the world a better place are often hard to do, but with the right attitude can be full of joy. And that goes for humble activities like serving customers, washing dishes, and cleaning floors as well. I’ve done all those things. And if society demeans activities like these its not the fault of people doing what they love, but a lack of respect for different paths in life. If its a problem with society lets call it that.

Shouldn’t we want to love what we are doing? Isn’t that a dream we are all entitled to? And if people have not found the joy in these activities its not always the fault of the job. If the message of this article is that we shouldn’t try to love what we do, then teaching people this will definitely obstruct it. But maybe also teaching ourselves that we can find fulfillment and joy is in fact conducive to that outcome as well. Is our lack of joy sometimes that we simply don’t know any better? That we believe, as the Puritans did, that work was not meant to be fun? Wasn’t that learned behavior? Reality made to conform to a message?

One psychological truth the article overlooks is that its not just that people tend to do what they love (when afforded the opportunity), but that we also often come to love what we do (provided we are open minded about the virtues it has to offer). One important truth the article ignores is that there seem to be no natural limits to what human beings can find joyful (sadly in some cases….). Doing what we love is often mostly about being open to the virtues that teach us where to find joy.

Doing what we love reflects more on the personal significance of activities than what those activities are. The author doesn’t seem to understand that. But the article is right in at least one sense: Work should be respected regardless of whether its something done for love or some other reason. If there is a failing to call out its our lack of mutual respect, not that some people want to do what they love…..

I hope that made a bit of sense…..

Peace all!

Happy potting!

.

About Carter Gillies

I am an active potter and sometime pottery instructor who is fascinated by the philosophical side of making pots, teaching these skills, and issues of the artistic life in general. I seem to have a lot to say on this blog, but I don't insist that I'm right. I'm always trying to figure stuff out, and part of that involves admitting that I am almost always wrong in important ways. If you are up for it, please help me out by steering my thoughts in new and interesting directions. I always appreciate the challenge of learning what other people think.
This entry was posted in Art, Arts advocacy, Beauty, Ceramics, Creative industry, Creativity, Imagination, metacognition, Pottery. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Defending DWYL

  1. “Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all.

    Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.

    Our gross national product… counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl…

    Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning…it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”
    Robert Kennedy, University of Kansas, 18 March 1968
    (abridged from the full speech)

  2. Lee Love says:

    I highly recommend Matthew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft. He addresses many of the issues you bring up. He has some problem with art dilatants and focuses on trades and craft workers. But I think he speaks to a broader population than just people who think of themselves as artists. My self,, being from folks who were farmers and assembly line works and in the first generation of the college educated, I like to cut the crap where hand work is concerned. Doing it without over intellectualizing what I am doing. It fits in well with the Zen Buddhist perspective I follow.
    We are by nature makers, Homo Faber. Consumer culture takes man out of the making cycle and reduces us to merely the mouths and assholes of consumption. We are left to our thoughts while our hands are tied behind our backs.

    Here is the original essay from The New Atlantis that inspired Shop Class as Soulcraft:

    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/shop-class-as-soulcraft

    “The man who works recognizes his own product in the World that has actually been transformed by his work: he recognizes himself in it, he sees in it his own human reality, in it he discovers and reveals to others the objective reality of his humanity, of the originally abstract and purely subjective idea he has of himself.” — Alexandre Kojève

    “Since manual work has been subject to routinization for over a century, the nonroutinized manual work that remains, outside the confines of the factory, would seem to be resistant to much further routinization. There still appear developments around the margins; for example, in the last twenty years pre-fabricated roof trusses have eliminated some of the more challenging elements from the jobs of framers who work for large tract developers, and pre-hung doors have done the same for finish carpenters generally. But still, the physical circumstances of the jobs performed by carpenters, plumbers, and auto mechanics vary too much for them to be executed by idiots; they require circumspection and adaptability. One feels like a man, not a cog in a machine. The trades are then a natural home for anyone who would live by his own powers, free not only of deadening abstraction, but also of the insidious hopes and rising insecurities that seem to be endemic in our current economic life. This is the stoic ideal.” –MB Crawford

    \

    • That’s a fascinating read, Lee! I’m not sure I get all of what he’s pointing at, but there are many things I obviously agree with. I found his examination of the early days of industrialization pretty informative and surprising. That certainly puts many things in context.

      I hope everyone gets to read the whole article Lee linked to, but here is a brief excerpt:

      Given their likely acquaintance with such a cognitively rich world of work, it is hardly surprising that when Henry Ford introduced the assembly line in 1913, workers simply walked out. One of Ford’s biographers wrote, “So great was labor’s distaste for the new machine system that toward the close of 1913 every time the company wanted to add 100 men to its factory personnel, it was necessary to hire 963.”

      This would seem to be a crucial moment in the history of political economy. Evidently, the new system provoked natural revulsion. Yet, at some point, workers became habituated to it. How did this happen? One might be tempted to inquire in a typological mode: What sort of men were these first, the 100 out of 963 who stuck it out on the new assembly line? Perhaps it was the men who felt less revulsion because they had less pride in their own powers, and were therefore more tractable. Less republican, we might say. But if there was initially such a self-selection process, it quickly gave way to something less deliberate, more systemic.

      In a temporary suspension of the Taylorist logic, Ford was forced to double the daily wage of his workers to keep the line staffed. As Braverman writes, this “opened up new possibilities for the intensification of labor within the plants, where workers were now anxious to keep their jobs.” These anxious workers were more productive. Indeed, Ford himself later recognized his wage increase as “one of the finest cost-cutting moves we ever made,” as he was able to double, and then triple, the rate at which cars were assembled by simply speeding up the conveyors. By doing so he destroyed his competitors, and thereby destroyed the possibility of an alternative way of working. (It also removed the wage pressure that comes from the existence of more enjoyable jobs.) At the Columbian World Expo held in Chicago in 1893, no fewer than seven large-scale carriage builders from Cincinnati alone presented their wares. Adopting Ford’s methods, the industry would soon be reduced to the Big Three. So workers eventually became habituated to the abstraction of the assembly line. Evidently, it inspires revulsion only if one is acquainted with more satisfying modes of work.

      Here the concept of wages as compensation achieves its fullest meaning, and its central place in modern economy. Changing attitudes toward consumption seemed to play a role. A man whose needs are limited will find the least noxious livelihood and work in a subsistence mode, and indeed the experience of early (eighteenth-century) capitalism, when many producers worked at home on a piece-rate basis, was that only so much labor could be extracted from them. Contradicting the assumptions of “rational behavior” of classical economics, it was found that when employers would increase the piece rate in order to boost production, it actually had the opposite effect: workers would produce less, as now they could meet their fixed needs with less work. Eventually it was learned that the only way to get them to work harder was to play upon the imagination, stimulating new needs and wants. The habituation of workers to the assembly line was thus perhaps made easier by another innovation of the early twentieth century: consumer debt. As Jackson Lears has shown in a recent article, through the installment plan, previously unthinkable acquisitions became thinkable, and more than thinkable: it became normal to carry debt. The display of a new car bought on installment became a sign that one was trustworthy. In a wholesale transformation of the old Puritan moralism, expressed by Benjamin Franklin (admittedly no Puritan) with the motto “Be frugal and free,” the early twentieth century saw the moral legitimation of spending. Indeed, 1907 saw the publication of a book with the immodest title The New Basis of Civilization, by Simon Nelson Patten, in which the moral valence of debt and spending is reversed, and the multiplication of wants becomes not a sign of dangerous corruption but part of the civilizing process. That is, part of the disciplinary process. As Lears writes, “Indebtedness could discipline workers, keeping them at routinized jobs in factories and offices, graying but in harness, meeting payments regularly.”

    • More from Shop Class as Soulcraft:

      “We are recalled to the basic antagonism of economic life: work is toilsome and necessarily serves someone else’s interests. That’s why you get paid. Thus chastened, we may ask the proper question: what is it that we really want for a young person when we give them vocational advice? The only creditable answer, it seems to me, is one that avoids utopianism while keeping an eye on the human good: work that engages the human capacities as fully as possible. What I have tried to show is that this humane and commonsensical answer goes against the central imperative of capitalism” Mathew Crawford

  3. I’s pretty obvious to any one in the arts field who is doing what they love that the DWYL myth didn’t originate with them. I don’t know a single artist, performer, writer, actor who doesn’t want to get paid and wouldn’t prefer to get paid well. The Salon article could have done better in pointing out the real cause of why artist HAVE to work at what they love for pennies on the dollar.
    The DWYL myth originated with some mass media writer and seems to just be a spin on the whole Richard Florida ‘Creative Class’ bullshit. This mythology/pop-sociology takes true creativity and usurps it into just another economic model to be used for economic gain. This false mythology is anti-historical and politically conservative in it’s drive to replace the anarchy of creativity with something controllable.
    Artists, educators, and others who love what the do work aren’t “willing” to work for nothing. They do because someone is forcing them to.

  4. Stephen says:

    I think the main issue most artist encounter is not loving the entirety of what they do. The making of art and the selling of art is a twofold proposition and if you love to make it but loath selling it then a problem develops. This problem can manifest itself in many ways but often it starts with hunger pains.

    • Which is why so many artists have outside jobs as well. That takes some of the pressure off a chronically low paying arts employment. One of the great bits of wisdom I received in school was when Linda Christianson told us that very few potters make all their income just from selling their art. I think as poorly as we are paid combined with how foreign ‘selling’ is to many of us, not to mention the possible near saturation of many markets, it just makes sense to diversify our streams of income if possible.

      One of the side issues with becoming a selling artist is that the thing we started out doing for fun can often switch from the enjoyment of that intrinsic benefit to a focus on extrinsic benefits that actually do harm to our enjoyment. We can blur the reasons why we are making art if it becomes too much a ‘job’ whose sole purpose is to put bread on the table. You can look at the issue a bit deeper in this study of the ‘Overjustification Effect‘. That being said, if you enjoy the business aspect of your profession, the more power to you! Not everyone is a natural ‘seller’ and many of us are simply unsuited to that aspect of our livelihoods. This doesn’t mean we are not still entitled to be artists. For some of us it simply does come down to a matter of trading that intrinsic satisfaction in what we do for at least temporary hunger pains…. Or of finding some other accommodation that still lets us make our art.

      Here is a great essay I read this morning on the journey of one writer to keep doing their art. Sometimes the key is persistence rather than needing to like the business side of what we do. The odds are probably stacked against us regardless of how we feel about it….

      http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/01/22/on-persistence-and-the-long-con-of-being-a-successful-writer/

      I got my first book deal when I was 28.

      It came at a time when I’d hit rock bottom, professionally, financially, emotionally. It came just when I needed it. It wasn’t a million dollars. It was $10,000 a book, for three books. It was enough money for me to pay off three of my four credit cards and move out of my friend’s spare room.

      Even when the contract was eventually cancelled, and the book never published at that house, I was still paid for the books. I still walked with the money. $30,000 for work I never did, for work that they wouldn’t publish.

      I thought about all that work. About those screaming nights in that shared office with my ex, and the cold, drunk nights in Alaska, and shaking out my bug-infested sheets in South Africa, and thought… was this it? Was this what it was about?

      That money saved my life. But when the bills were paid and my life was in order again, I asked myself what I was writing for besides money, because after writing with the intent of being a writer for fifteen years, now that I wasn’t dying in poverty, the money alone wasn’t satisfying. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t why I was writing.

      Which made me wonder what the fuck I was doing, then.

  5. Stephen says:

    There is no arguing that, if the reality of selling the art you make is sapping the enjoyment out of what was thought to be the dream job then yeah ya have to blow off DWYL and do something else for a living and art on the side.

    I do think however that it is very important that artist do not delude themselves with the notion that it’s intrinsic to the arts. DWYL at it pertains to art is all about making your living as an artist and that means low wages for someone else or selling it yourself and it has always been that way and plenty of artist over the ages have figured it out.

    • I’m imagining DWYL as something nuanced, so I’m not sure I’d commit to saying that DWYL “as it pertains to art is all about making your living as an artist”.

      Picture instead that we were talking about Eat What You Want. Everybody has to eat, just like everyone has to make a living, and if you believe that eating what you want is important I’d wonder why it commits you to only eating one thing always, doing it full time, as it were. Eating what you want could mean Pizza one night and a salad the next. You can change it up, but also you have the opportunity to investigate new things, find new foods to enjoy rather than being stuck with only one thing. The point being that doing what you love should be open ended rather than constricting. That’s up to who is doing the doing and, I suppose, what they are loving…..

      Say you even liked ice cream more than any other food stuff, but you realized that eating only it and nothing else would kill you pretty quickly. You might decide that every meal should get washed down with a scoop of ice cream but that the main course be something more nutritious and sustaining. Your commitment to a daily diet of ice cream doesn’t necessarily commit you to only having ice cream, nothing but ice cream. If we can fulfill eating what we want by having some ice cream, then we can fulfill doing what we want by having only some of that activity. Right? Otherwise we’d have to say that the only way we can eat what we want is that we are perpetually gorged on only our most favorite dish.

      If its even possible that what we want and what we love are things that fluctuate, then the constancy demanded by a steady diet actually seems irrelevant. Being constant almost means that we care more about sticking to one thing, our commitment, than how we feel about doing it…… And for some people the career is as important or even more important than what it is you are doing. If we believe that being an artist can only mean being a full time professional then we understand being an artist in a very limited way. There is no lee way in that definition. its the absolutism of all or nothing. Love, on the other hand, wanders. And sometimes that’s a problem, but not always. Isn’t that difference illuminating?

      If some artists are able to have a single employment/ diet of making their living just as an artist that’s all well and good, but I don’t see how it speaks for other artists who legitimately want to do what they love, simply not full time. Say they already have other jobs and careers, or are raising a family. Say that for whatever other reasons they may have it is simply a physical impossibility that they drop the entirety of their other lives to just make a living as an artist. I can point to hundreds of people I know who are in this position. This would account for all the students of art, the hobbyists and amateurs, and even the university instructors and other teachers of art practice. There are so many ways to do what you love in art that don’t mean you are necessarily only making your living as an artist. Its more nuanced than that. Its not either/or, but contains a whole multitude of gray areas.

      If DWYL only means being employed full time doing it, then either everyone else has to be unhappy, not doing what they love, or it has to mean something else. I’m suggesting the ‘something else’ version…..

      That’s how it seems to me, at least 🙂

      • Stephen says:

        Yeah but the acronym DWYL in general I think is really talking about it from the standpoint of folks that chose their wage earning career based on what they love to do as opposed to say banking or accounting. It’s not that banking or accounting is not fun for some folks but I think the concept behind the acronym is about separating and discussing people that are chasing a dream or passion.

        I will go as far as saying that the concept is usually referring to artist, musicians, actors, athletes and the like. Things people do for fun and then get so consumed they want to make it their profession for a career change or pursue from youth against all odds and advise. Obviously one can expand this to be extremely broad (social work, teaching, race car driver etc.) but we are talking about it in regards to artist, right?

        I don’t think it is meant to be a slam against folks that have to take other work to make ends meet part time or people that have other careers and pursue their art in their off hours and I certainly am not saying that. Folks do what they need to do and they are certainly making sacrifices in time and possibly money to do what they LOVE to do. I mentioned Margaret Mitchell earlier. She was not paid to write Gone With The Wind while she was writing it and I don’t think anyone would say she was not a novelist.

        in general I think we agree more than we disagree. I just think that folks wanting to chunk the day job to pursue an art passion on a full time basis need to understand that they are going to have to cover the bases of how that art is going to be sold and who is going to sell it. It does not have to be that big of a negative and the vast majority of artist can come up with a plan, but they are going to have to take x amount of hours out of each day, week or month and do it or they will most likely fail and they will not be DWTL for very long as a career, 1st or 2nd.

        The odds of making your living from your art are obviously long, as they are in any new business, but those odds will improve if new artist understand from the beginning that the business side of art, if they are to survive, needs to be embraced not shunned. They really need to try and be as upbeat as possible because sales and marketing is not easy for anyone and if you go into it with a sense of dread or loathing it probably will not work very well.

        …hence the hunger pains jab I made before and meant for the artist trying to make a living from their art but hates and avoids marketing.

        I love your work and your blog by the way. You are constantly making me think this new and exciting adventure through.

        • Yeah, I think we mostly agree in almost all aspects, really. The folks that do want to build a career DO need to take the business side very seriously, and the interesting thing seems to be that the model for that is changing in dramatic ways industry-wide for the arts. It used to be that full time folks were mostly either heavy on the gallery representation, or traveled around to do shows, or possibly a combination of those two. Today’s artists have a few more options in opening new markets, and it certainly makes sense to be as smart about those possibilities as we can. Etsy and the internet have opened things up in dramatic ways, for one. That’s something that artists of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s could hardly imagine. It really is a new frontier, and we can help invent the way forward if we put some effort into it.

          Did you get to read the guest post by Jill Foote Hutton on Carole Epp’s Musing about mud blog? I thought it was a fascinating overview of some of the new options that artists are discovering and inventing for themselves. Here’s the link:

          http://musingaboutmud.blogspot.com/2013/11/guest-post-revisiting-and-redefining.html

          Thanks for the lively conversation, Stephen! Thanks also for the kind words!

  6. Stephen says:

    You added to your post while I was responding 😉

    Opening any kind of business is hard and risky. The writer should not have been disillusioned or had an epiphany. He was unprepared for what he took on, had nothing to do with writing but rather his unrealistic vision of writing as a business. Margaret Mitchell was a wonderful writer but she did not make her living from becoming a novelist.

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