Who Has the Right to Be a Writer? | Literary Hub

I told her that we hear more often about the overnight successes and the six-figure book deals and the artistic geniuses than we do about the beautiful, quiet chapbook some author wrote that you would love if you ever got your hands on it; or about the memoir of hunger and humor that was popular in a Minneapolis book club where the author got to feel like a star at a reading for just one night. 

I told her that “There are more writers and artists like you and me than there are like Pablo Neruda and Stephen King.” I told her that those of us who have hated our jobs but can’t leave them have to carve out the time to write even when it doesn’t exist. I told her: That’s what Toni Morrison did. I told her that some writers loved their day jobs as much as their writing—that T. S. Eliot refused to quit his job in a bank because he liked the regularity of the hours. I told her and the rest of my class that for many of us, writing is the main respite that we have from the job that we hate—and that even if we don’t become rich and famous or even just well-known in some obscure literary circle, we are entitled to the act of writing, the respite of writing, for the sake of it as an act and an escape in-and-of-itself. 
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