You Do Your Job, and I’ll Do Mine

…the poets are at their windows

because it is their job for which

they are paid nothing every Friday afternoon.

“Monday” by Billy Collins

When my teacher friends found out I was quitting my job to write, they left their classrooms in droves to come and congratulate me.  I think we all have a bit of vicarious wanderlust in us: a love of new jobs, new marriages, new babies, new cities, new experiences of all kinds.

“Oh, I am so excited that you get to write!  What a luxury!” someone gushed.

This rubbed me a tiny bit wrong.  Don’t misunderstand; I am incredibly grateful to the Lord (and my husband) for nudging me off this ledge.  However, “Don’t get too excited.  I still have bills to pay,” I said.

“No, don’t think that way!” my friend replied.  “Just do your art for art’s sake.”

I have to reconcile myself with this issue, daily: I don’t want to sell out.  But I am married to a teacher, and we have two kids.  This is the reality of many artists.

Here’s where I’ve landed: my job is to diligently write and persistently market my work.  All the rest — whether I get published, whether I get paid — is God’s job.

This seems like a fair division of labor.  I am sure the poets at their windows understand perfectly.


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