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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Being a Writer is More of an Identity Than a Job

There is something dreary about wanting fiction writing to be a real job. The sense of inner purpose, so often unmentionable in a society enamored of professionalism, distinguishes a writer from a hack. Emily Dickinson didn't turn her calling into a job, and neither did Franz Kafka, or Fernando Pessoa, or Wallace Stevens, or any of the millions of writers who have never earned a penny for their thoughts. A defrocked priest forever remains a priest, and a writer--independent of publication or readership or "career"--is always a writer. Writing, after all, is something one does. A writer is something one is.

Benjamin Moser, The New York Times, January 27, 2015

1 comment:

  1. There's something, at least to me, about being able to call myself a writer that props up my miniscule self-esteem, even though it is based on the flimsiest of pretenses.