The Writer’s Paradox

You need to write to stay sane.

You need to eat to stay alive.

If you accept money for what you write, you’re beholden to your audience to deliver the same thing in a different package time after time after time.

You don’t want to write it, but you must if you want to eat.

Writing it keeps you barely sane because it’s not what you want to write.

When you write what you want to write, your audience won’t buy it, so you don’t eat.

Then, when you return to writing what your audience wants to read so that you can eat, you’re labelled a “sell-out.”

This is the essence of the writer’s paradox.


Alas! ’tis true, I have gone here and there

And made myself a motley to the view

Gored mine own thoughts

Sold cheap what is most dear.

– Shakespeare, Sonnet 10

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