Reading about other people creating, is for a creative like me, an incredibly uplifting experience. It’s like having a hug from a community, an affirmation that people can become widely successful in the life they want to live. Reading about people being valued and earning money for their work is also hugely encouraging for a writer like me who wants to do exactly that.
Jeff Goins’ book is all about how art shouldn’t necessarily be its own reward, but is there for the artist to make money from. That a writer, or musician or filmmaker (or a poet or a mime or whatever) shouldn’t feel embarrassed about monetising what they do, and should instead embrace it. What we do is intrinsically valuable, and we shouldn’t hide that fact.
To prove the point – to bash it home, in fact – there are numerous examples of artists who were brilliant at what they did but also understood the business side of the industry – the most jaw-dropping of which is Michelangelo, who died with a fortune worth in current terms about $47 million. Although since he complained in one of his later poems that art had left him “poor, old and working as a servant of others”, we can be forgiven for our erroneous belief that he was all about art for art’s sake.
Even if the central message doesn’t develop that much throughout the book, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a message that should be cheered out loud and Goins is just the right confident, chatty author to it. ‘Real Artists Don’t Starve;’ isn’t a self-help book in the normal sense of things, it’s more a warm bath of positivity and a great way to start the New Year.
Fancy a free collection of intriguing and gripping short stories? There’s one available here.