When a writer finds their story or their poem or their expression, something out of place is now where it belongs. But to me, this came with a cost, or rather, without one. Maybe art must function within capitalism. That’s why there is an art market. It’s an unfortunate reality. Sex work. All of my friends are writers/[insert shitty job here]. This makes me sad. There is no money in writing, but why? I don’t fully understand it but I know that I am a part of it. I create content which I allow a publication to publish for free. Instead of money, a sort of culture capital is bestowed upon me. Maybe this is all a part of paying my dues. I gain access to an audience. I gain exposure. I gain the chance to challenge someone’s worldview. And isn’t this my goal, as the noble writer?
I’m happy Gabby posted this, even though it was really dumb of me to text her while I was on my way to Massachusetts for Boxing Day. I personally think–in hindsight, now that I am not pulled over on the shoulder of i95–that writing is (has to be) both a lense and a labor, because, right, yes, our art (and our love and our bagels and our everythings) does exist (has to exist) in a capitalist society. What I think is infinitely interesting, though, is how we, as individuals, find value in different sort of currencies–whether that be emotional or spiritual or physical or monetary–and how that changes as we continue to re-position ourselves as artists and publishers and people. For a long time, I have been okay with the weak economic model (or lack thereof) that many publishers insist is non-negotiable. But maybe Gabby’s right. Maybe we are owed more, even if don't put a lot of value on money.
Anyway, you should read Gabby’s post, because I basically just said a whole lot of nothing. I hope Gabby hasn’t really given up on life, because her future looks bright and her coat looks really, really warm.