I gotta admit it, the arts are like a siren to me. The romance of being an actor (did tons of that in high school), a artist (a video called LightTones), a photographer (here are some recent ones), or a writer just gets me. No, it is not enough to be wildly creative, as I am in my programming day-job, I wanna be cut loose with my muse, damn the income, hoping that “if you create it, they will throw money at you.”
Well Patrick Rothfuss recently went on a tare about his now successful writing job, declaring that “everyone hates their job sometimes.”
So the arts are a job too, like any other? Suck! And not always fun? Arrgh! And to top it off to make any money in the arts you gotta compete with a large group of doe-eyed romantics like yourself competing for the few slots that actually pay money (or doing it for no money just for the love of it).
No, I am not that naive. I know it takes a lot of hard work to get good at your art, and then a lot of patience and a bit ton of luck to have any monetary success with it.
So why bother? Seriously, why? I can’t answer that question for anyone else but me. For me it is because I have to. The stories I am writing are the stories I have to tell. For me. The photos I take, I take because I have to be out there taking them. Would I like to make money doing it? Oh yeah! Will I keep doing it even if I don’t make money? Oh yeah!
It’s like that. And you know, I think it has to be like that.
I bet that Patrick had to write The Name of the Wind (and since he started working on it in 1994 and still hasn’t finished the following two books, I think that qualifies as a had to.) And thank you Patrick for writing it, it is an awesome book (and if you dig fantasy that takes place in a stunningly rich world, run, don’t walk and get this book). And rant away Patrick, you can hate your job sometimes, just please don’t quit it — at least not without finishing the trilogy.