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11 July 2014 @ 03:29 pm
writing and living  
After about a half-century of observing the species, my wishy-washy conclusion is that some writers mine their own lives to such an extent that you wonder whether they could handle happiness -- their muse would dry up for lack of material.   "How happy it is to be miserable," quoting the Limeliters' parody of Russian literature; "How miserable it is to be happy."
A corollary that's usually unspoken is the idea that one must suffer in order to create effective art.  Ergo, a happy writer is doomed to mediocrity.
I don't think it's universally true, of course, and a large percentage of people who make a good living from writing lead happy and sane lives.  This profundity may conceal the subtle truth that people who don't worry a lot about money are happier than people who do.
My own experience is that the two variables, success as a creator versus happiness as a person, correlate only weakly.  Too many exceptions on both sides.
et in Arcadia egoboo: Barnabyapostle_of_eris on July 12th, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
I once argued back at an art history major who asserted that great artists must suffer. The first counter example off the top of my head was, "What about Benvenuto Cellini?" She'd never heard the name, reinforcing my opinion of art history majors.
Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírezen_ki on July 12th, 2014 01:54 pm (UTC)
So, are you unhappy, unsuccessful, or an exception?