Why is it that those of us who work in the arts are always put under such scrutiny and ridicule? I don’t know how many times I was laughed at over the years when I told people I was majoring in music and planned on being a performer and teacher. I have no idea the amount of times I heard “yeah, well that and a buck will buy you a cup of coffee, hardy har har.” I would simply smile and go on. I figured it wasn’t worth having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.
Now I am a writer. I have a real publisher, a book on Amazon and everything. It still never fails when I tell someone I am a published author I get that little smirk and a “Right. Sure you are.” Or there is the ever popular blank stare that seems to happen more times than not. The stare becomes even more glazed over when I explain what my novel is about.
The thing that gets me about this is that when these people laugh or sneer, I actually want to smack some sense into them. Not out of anger, but as a wake-up call. I want to ask them if they read books, listen to music, watch movies, attended live theater or play video games. I would bet almost anything that each person would say yes to one, if not all, of those items. I want to ask them where they think all those things come from. As far as I know, even though most of us will tell you our inspiration comes from out muses, it is not the muse that spends hours in front of the blank page or screen typing and correcting and sweating and crying. That would be the artist, the writer, the composer, the person that you make fun of for being “a starving artist or loser for not getting a real job.”
Truth is most of us have real jobs that take up 40 plus hours a week and we still find the time to do what we love. The greater truth is that without us, the world would be a rather quiet, colorless, and empty place.