Living the Dream
 
I have a couple of relatives who get EXTREMELY tired of me talking about the perils of being a writer. They don't want to hear me complain about how little I get paid per hour, or how fragile any contract is, or how easy it is to lose money on a book. I'm living the dream, they seem to believe. I've got it easy, so I don't get to complain.

But "living the dream" doesn't exist. That is, there's no point at which we stop being human and stop having worries about the future or about the purpose of life. But also, the fuzzy gauze over which people who don't live a creative life want to keep over their imagination of what creativity is isn't something I want to perpetuate. I want regular, everyday people to have to face the reality of what it means to be consumers of art. I want them to consume more consciously and to feel bad about stealing intellectual property. I want them to pay attention when creators get shafted by certain companies. And yes, I guess I'm selfish enough to want them to be able to see that sitting on my butt all day, writing, isn't as cushy as it sounds like it is.

"So why don't you just quit and get a real job?" tends to be the response whenever I finally get someone to listen to me. And this isn't what I want them to say, either. I want them to listen and understand and see what it is to be me, why I choose to do this, even despite all the disadvantages. But I guess that's why every creator needs creative friends to nod and bitch with.