Who Needs Nutella?

As I write this, I’m watching Giadi DiLaurentis make homemade hazelnut spread on the Food Network. And every time I watch shows where people are getting paid—handsomely—for doing exactly what they love to do, I get this surge of envy that goes through me.

Now, that might also be because I’ve been having a particularly bad time at work lately and my desire to leave has kicked up a notch.

Speaking of Emeril, I once saw him on a game show (Celebrity Something-or-Another) and when they were talking to the celebrity contestants, I remember Emeril saying, “I’m so lucky to be able to get up every morning and do what I love to do.”1280px-Albert_Anker_Junge_Frau_einen_Brief_schreibend_1903

That has stuck with me for years because, well, for those of us who don’t earn a living from what we love, it’s an enviable position to be in.

I take my comfort in knowing that although I don’t earn a living from it (and probably never will), I have my writing to offset the heinousness of my day-to-day working life. It’s not always easy to remember that, especially during particularly bad periods. But even when I’m not consciously thinking, “Thank god I have my writing,” it nevertheless acts as therapy when I do it. Even when I’m so depressed about work or whatever and feel like I’m trudging through my writing, when I’ve come out the other end, I find myself with a finished (or partially finished) work, and it feels really good.

It would still be all kinds of awesome if I could make enough money to live on from the things I enjoy doing, but I live in the real world and bills have to be paid with real money. But I know that whatever stupidness, and whatever narcissistic, power-tripping asshats I have to deal with every day, I have my fictional worlds to step into and my zany but always intelligent character to talk to.

Now, if I could just sign a six-figure deal…

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12 thoughts on “Who Needs Nutella?

  1. It would be so very nice if we paid authors more. I think about the theatre tickets I buy (and I LOVE theatre and in no way mean to detract from performers, etc.) and the sports tickets others buy (again, not slamming players) for 2-3 hours of entertainment – I can get 10-20 books for some of those prices. That’s a couple/few weeks of entertainment for me, and yet somehow it’s “ridiculous” to pay more than $10 for a book. If one were to think about the value books bring vs the value other forms of entertainment bring, writing would pay the bills. If I’m being honest, I am selfishly glad that books are less expensive, because I can buy more and reading is one of my very favorite activities. If I’m being fair and thoughtful, I would love to see books and the artists who create them paid a far amount for what is being provided. Culturally, we have devalued books, which is sad if one thinks about it too much.

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    1. Yes, exactly. I often bitch about the salaries that actors and athletes pull in. Not that what they do is easy, but lots of people have hard jobs and don’t get paid a fraction of what actors and athletes make. Writers have been devalued exponentially since the era of digital publishing. And it sucks.

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  2. You’re so right, there, Ann! I have to be wryly amused that my (so far only one) book, which took years and much hard work to write, yields a rate of pay of (so far) of a few pence per hour of labour. Or cents – still an appalling thought. However, at least ‘the other job’ is one I enjoy, unlike poor RG; being a self-employed fitness instructor can be very creative, and at least keeps my own health in good nick. But like the musical fraternity, we writers suffer from the technology-driven ethos which delivers the expectation that intellectual property and performance should be free, or at least cheap and disposable. Short commons for hard times, alas.
    Suzanne Egerton

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  3. Live long and prosper. I finally retired at 67 and now live on my Social Security check (barely – lol) and write full-time. Stay healthy, live long, and the rewards are great. But don’t stop dreaming!

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  4. Sorry your work sucks so much. I’m glad you have your writing to fall back on for enjoyment. Keep writing and we will keep buying and who knows…one day.

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  5. Dammit. You said “Nutella” and I’m trying to avoid the jar in my pantry. MUST.BE.STRONG.

    And so, too, must you. As hard as that is sometimes. Keep on keepin’ on! And hide the Nutella.

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  6. Nice blog. I don’t hate my job and it definitely pays my bills, but I am counting the days until I can retire, write full-time laze around on FB half the day! I hope your day job gets better or you are one of the few that become wildly successful and you can quit!

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