Joining the 1%

Every once in while, you’ll come across someone who says, “I’ve decided to write a novel. I’m already at chapter three, and I know Hollywood will want to make this into a movie. I quit my job because I know this will be a best seller.”

There are deluded people everywhere, of course, but I seriously have heard variations on this, although not as extreme as the example above.dollar-sign-book

Look, face facts: When it comes to the creative arts, maybe 1% can make a living at it. I’m not talking about becoming rich, I just mean earning enough to not have to take on another job to pay the bills.

Think about it. You must know artists, musicians, actors, even athletes. They spend their free time doing what they really love and maybe they sell some art, get to play a paying gig, or land a job acting in a commercial every now and then, but how many of them can live off the income they produce?

That’s just the way it is. Don’t delude yourself.

As I’ve said before, success requires three factors: talent, hard work, and connections (meeting the right people and impressing them). I should add a fourth: Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time to catch the public’s mood, and no one can predict when and why that happens. You can’t plan for that. Don’t give up your day job.

My wife, Heidi Hooper (the award-winning artist) often says that she has to make art to satisfy the monster within that demands it. She makes money at it, too — impressive money to many other artists, but still not enough to make a living. And that’s the bottom line — you should be creating because you love creating.

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