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  • Matt Morrell

Don't Quit Your Day Job

I'm currently reading the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, right on the tail of reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.


Both books cover similar terrain - getting creative people out of their own heads and coaxing them to do the work. Both are also from authors with self-described long roads to success and both are from the perspective of after the success has been achieved.


Consistent work over time. Success is an illusion. Don't quit your day job. Don't listen to other people. Build the creative life you want, one day, one word at a time.


I haven't read Eat Pray Love but I remember it being everywhere for years. I also remember the sense of over-saturation - that this was an idea being pushed on everyone through Oprah's book clubs, stranger's bathrooms and coffee tables, the "Staff Picks" shelves at Barnes & Noble.


It's nice to see that the author felt that too.


In Big Magic, Gilbert tells a story about a fan coming up and thanking her for writing the book that would allow her to leave her abusive marriage. But when she described the book, she was talking about violence and abuse that wasn't actually in the book. She had either not read it or misattributed it to another book.


It must be so crazy to have the existence of your thing occupy more space in this world than the thing itself. Maybe that's what fame is in general and why famous people seem so unhappy. The meaning detaches itself and becomes something else to other people. Meanwhile you are still you.


Ultimately it seems like the conclusion is the same - stick to the work, build the thing, make the stuff. Forget about the rest. And don't quit your day job.

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© 2020 by Matt Morrell