If the title of this post makes you go "huh?" then you're not alone. A couple weeks back I saw this posted in response to some question online that basically talked about making money for your writing. And considering who the writer was that posted the comment, I wasn't surprised at all, as this writer in question usually comes off as a douche.
Let's be honest here -- nobody creates art only for themselves. And I absolutely hate using the term art to begin with, but I guess that's the best way to describe novels and short stories and poems and whatever else. (Why do I hate using the term art? Because for some reason when I think of art I think of snooty assholes who want to talk about their amazing creations which usually aren't so amazing and treat everybody else like shit, and for the most part, writers aren't like that.)
You can't tell me that you're going to slave over your novel or story, spending hours and days and weeks and months, for no reason at all except the fact you feel it's your job as an artist to create something, and then when it's done you'll hide it away so nobody else will ever see it?
If that's the case, more power to you, but I'd say you fall into the .00001% of artists out there.
I know when I write something, I write it with the hopeful intent of eventually selling it. When I submit stories, I try to submit them to publications where, if accepted, they will be read by as many readers as possible.
Does that mean I'm not an arteest?
Now I'm no psychiatrist (I'm pretty sure the diploma I got in that cereal box wasn't real), but what I take away from that idiot writer's comment is simply a kind of defense mechanism. By saying "I'm not looking for more money/readership," the writer is basically ensuring that he will never fail. Because if he admits that yes, he would like more money/readership and more money or readers never comes, then there is cause for disappointment.
But you know what? Disappointment is just a part of being a writer. As writers we're disappointed all the time. That's just name of the game. Because we're writers, damn it, and that's what we do.
If that means I'll never be an arteest, then good. I'll take all the money/readership I can get.
P.S. A lot of great entries so far in the Penultimate Paragraph contest. Keep ’em coming in, folks! You have until Friday midnight to enter.