Creative Prompts

The arts are not a way to make a living

They say you should never meet your heroes, they’ll only let you down. But what if you write them a letter asking for advice and they throw this blisteringly awesome observation in your face? You don’t have an excuse NOT to get into the arts anymore.

It’s like damn, dropped the mic on y’all.

Here is a lesson in creative writing.

First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.

And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I’m kidding.

For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I’m kidding.

We are about to be attacked by Al Qaeda. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I’m kidding.

If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is 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.

Kurt Vonnegut

I’ll never be Vonnegut. I am me. I don’t write for the mainstream. I write for the dreamers, those who are off-kilter, for the kids who probably thought their whole life was doomed to be in the Upside Down. I probably won’t ever show up on the New York Times’ Bestseller List, and I’m okay with that. If my only goal was to be there, I could have written some piece of tripe a long time ago and been done with it. But I can’t and I won’t. I write for me.

Do you agree or disagree with Vonnegut? Let me know in the comments!

write on, Guilliean
write on, Guilliean

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