Robert Fritz, The Path of Least Resistance
"We must be careful about what we pretend to be."
"Go into the arts. I'm not kidding.
The arts are NOT a way to make a living.
They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly,
is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake.
Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories.
Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.
Do it as well as you possibly can.
You will get an enormous reward.
You will have created something."
In a modern day capacity, obviously I disagree that people cannot make a living from the arts.
Maybe, Vonnegut would too.
it is not surprising Vonnegut felt this way, as he was an unsuccessful book author * until the Piano Player and Slaughterhouse 5 were published.
It was not only his unsuccessful novels that led to this belief system.
He bore witness to his mother's writing flops, which extended to his father's abandonment of a normal life and into a world as a dreamy artist.
His father was poor, yet happier.
After seeing and feeling such failure, this may have been an excuse to give up writing.
More excuses could have followed with the following hardships - he was drafted into wars of that era, even though he possessed an anti-war attitude; lived through the Depression, by which his family's fortune disappeared overnight; his mother committed suicide and other family members passed away; his inability to remain financially secure in a 'real' job, as his father saw it; being captured on various occasions by the Germans, and other adversities.
Despite all of this...
his ongoing passion for writing and becoming a 'successful' author,
remained strong in his heart.
By successful, Vonnegut was referring to gratification of his soul, not on a fiscal level.
This is not surprising, as he was not "irked" when his family's fortune disappeared overnight.
Money did not drive him!
this post is dedicated to all the creatives who face hardships;
that receive critical reviews;
are not featured in galleries;
are still struggling to receive recognition for their creative wares, etc.
under any circumstances, give into those 'real' jobs!
Seek inspiration from both the dead,
and the living creatives, like Vonnegut!
Get to know their histories, what led them to say 'fuck off' to adversity and hold steadfast to their passion.
Your soul's scream, to listen to your heart".