Thursday, February 22, 2007

So... how do we do what we do?

Shripriya commented in my Nickel and Dimed post that she was amazed that so many people worked thankless jobs for low pay out of passion/love.

Yet with a quick look at my bloglist it seems like a lot of this blog's regular readers are teachers, writers, students, and artists. Not exactly the thankless work Shripriya was describing (she was talking specifically about production assistants at film studios), but plenty of passion-filled, low-paying work.

So... how do we do what we do? What of our work is thankless, what fuels our passions, and how do we survive (financially and/or creatively)? What keeps us going?

(P.S. -- bad form perhaps to mention finances. If you'd rather, just write about the passion half. ^__^)


Niranjana said...

It really helps to have supportive people around to keep going. Being part of a group that understands why you do what you do is vital--most of us in the creative world generate enough self-doubt without any outside help. People who say things like "How many books have you published?" on hearing I'm a writer should hence be supressed, a la the guinea-pig juror in Alice.

Vi said...

Determination, and a (perhaps unconscious) belief that something better will come along.

Anonymous said...

More than anything else, it is the satisfaction that one derives after doing the kind of work that one likes.

Blue said...

Thanks, all -- Niranjana, I love the image of throwing a burlap sack over the head of an over-curious idiot. (BTW, living in Canada, do you follow the FBorFW saga and it's horrendous depiction of the writing/publishing process? Mike's rough draft garners a $24,000 advance, my a$$.)

I like determination, and I like satisfaction (while it lasts -- I'm always on to the next project) but what I've learned recently is that I can't wait for something "better" -- I've got to find happiness in my current state of being. I suppose I'm relatively lucky because I have the basic ability to support myself at this point, which accounts for a large part of my happiness quotient.

(Erm... did I just write "happiness quotient?" Sounds too much like one of those phony pep-business talks. Please disregard.)