I’ve been doing this for a little over five years now, moving through my corporate-owned, hamster-wheel life, paying close attention, reporting on the street-level reality of the collapsed U.S. economy.
I’ve tried to poetically express the pain the Great Recession caused my friends, my family, and my neighbors. I have failed a lot, but I’ve kept at it, every day—five years of working to understand what’s really happening, to write critically and honestly about what I discover.
And I’ve even made a little money, the ultimate validation in my country, at least enough money to pay the substantial hosting fees to keep this poetic web show going. And it is also a true story that in 2012 the IRS officially started listing my profession as Writer. Source of Taxable Income: Writing. Word. Up.
So, it perplexes me that friends and family members—and friends of family members—still approach me with ridiculous career suggestions, or dead-end cubicle jobs I should “try to get.” And then there’s the creative masterminds who tell me what I should and should not write about, and what form I should or should not write in. We can’t forget them. And then there’s the people who say that they think poetry should always rhyme.
Actually, those people are fucking idiots. Just ignore them.
My deeper point is, what exactly must a writer do to be taken seriously, to be respected as a professional in this broken culture? I mean, writing every day + making money = professional writer. No?
Or do I have to play a writer on a reality TV show to deserve my identity in America?
Maybe it’s because I don’t write books. Some have said that, my former boss at the university said that. Could that be it? Do I have to become the Balzac of Kindle to be taken seriously? Maybe.
Whatever. My real point is this, finally: at the very least, and I’m asking this sincerely—begging, really—could you naysayers please just shut the fuck up and leave me alone already? I’m writing.
Thank you for reading along.