I have borrowed that from Bon Jovi (but you can’t copyright titles so I’m allowed) and if you listen to the words in the song, it’s very true… maybe for us artist types and maybe not!
The bottom line is that we aren’t going to live forever and we need to live for today–not bad.
I always feel the biggest (and perhaps worst) and most frustrating part of that is money. You need money to pay for housing and to eat. So you don’t have the opportunity, most of the time, to do what you love full time. You have to work and do what you love when you can.
And then, like the cherry on top, you can’t get money that is being “given away”. In Canada we have three levels of Art Grants–Federal, Provincial and Municipal. The feds and provinces won’t give grants to EMERGING writers unless they have been traditionally published at least once… so WTF?? I just self-published my ninth novel! My first two were traditionally published across the pond by a publisher who ended up shutting down–so does that still count all these years later?
But how can anyone get anywhere if nobody is willing to give you a shot? The Emerging Writer grant should go to someone who works hard at their craft as evidenced by reference letters or other evidence: personally, I have a BA in Creative Writing, I have self-published NINE novels and I teach the craft! Why isn’t that enough?
Then, at the municipal level, it’s even worse–you have to apply for funds for specific projects. So I could apply for my camp or, maybe, the Culture Days weekend where we plan activities as an introduction to our art. But I can’t indicate that I want to write, period, and need some extra income to do that!
So how do we do it? We keep plodding along, status quo, working full-time, squeezing in writing here and there and hoping to catch the break of a lifetime in the process. To burst the bubble wide open!
With all the people on the planet and even just where we live, how do you break through? How do you make the difference?
I went to buy a copy of Writer’s Digest last night at Chapters and the guy who cashed me out asked if I was a writer and wished me luck after indicating that it was cool and I didn’t know whether to give him my card or not. Was he just making small talk? Would it have ended up being tossed out?
The problem is you just never know!