Real Jobs?

So what is a “proper” job? This must be an age old question/argument for anyone involved with the Creative Arts, whether they be writers, artists, singers, etc. I have heard it quite a few times. I am sure that a lot of bloggers out there have heard it. When somebody who does not follow creativity asks that person, “So when are you going to get a proper job then?” I personally get a rather sardonic grin on my face and ask them, “So what is a ‘proper’ job then?” It’s a good question! Would that be a dustman? A cleaner? A bank teller? I’m sure you’ll agree that this list can be seemingly endless. But surely the life of a writer is not a life of Reilly? Didn’t Philip Larkin work as a librarian for years before recognition? And when asked why he replied, “I had to pay the bills somehow.” Then after this rather annoying question you can often hear some of these “workers” say, “I’d love to write a book!” And one of my personal favourites,”How hard can it be to write a book!?” Aaaaarrrrggghhhh!!!! But when you ask these people if they actually write they tend to get a very doe like expression on their face, as if they’re just wiling away the day chewing the cud, then ask,”What do you mean?” What they do not seem to realise is that our way of life is actually a profession and for some strange reason society doesn’t want to recognise it. (But someone with acclaim as a writer is considered learned! Double standards?) Yet the majority of creative people find that, in the early days especially, they have to take one of these “mundane” jobs to make ends meet I.E. pay the bills, buy materials for they’re obsession (paper, instruments, brushes, etc). This now leaves a vastly reduced amount of time for them to concentrate on what I believe should be seen as their “real job”! The ones out there lucky enough to get the recognition and find a way to make their writing pay still begin as most of us do before they achieve that recognition. So I would go as far as saying that in actual fact creative people must work that much harder than the so called proper job brigade. So is the real reason that people in their “proper jobs” view anything within the arts as not a proper job, is because they are in actual fact jealous? Jealous because they cannot fathom how to be creative themselves? Maybe they are lazy and don’t want to do two jobs at the same time like the creationists? Maybe they’re jealous of anybody that has the gumption to stand up and admit that they’re writers. singers, players, etc? There is some “proper jobbers” who realise how hard the creative people work and how much energy is spent on those pursuits between their day jobs and these ones do have a healthy respect for the Arts – much respect to them because they would be the fans who buy the material that is created. Me? I work as a cleaner in between trying to motivate myself to write and get it down.

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