Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day Jobs and Daydreams

All novelists dream of being paid to write novels. The sad fact is, despite talent and hard work and even luck itself, such an opportunity is about as unlikely as unlikely gets. This article confronts the issue of what working writer Emily St. John Mandel dubs "The Double Shift" -- those of us who work full-time and moonlight as writers, not for the $ (because there is none), but for the love of.

The best part is her discussion of Kafka and his bureaucratic hellhole of a job -- without which, or course, The Trial never would have been written. Sometimes, as mindnumbing and soulsucking and timesquandering as working a quote-unquote regular job might be, it constitutes the fodder that shapes the style and subject matter of the writer. Or, as St. John Mandel puts forth in the article, in Kafka's case (and probably many of our own) full-time work often serves as a convenient excuse for the writing we do not do.

Interesting article. Read it.

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