It has to be a calling

There's a kerfluffle in the lit world about whether writing is just an awful pain in the ass not worth the effort or something to be celebrated (Elizabeth Gilbert says writing allows you to “get to live within the realm of your own mind”).

It all began when Philip Roth told a young writer this:

“I would quit while you’re ahead. Really. It’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and you write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.”


Similar convos happen around comedy. My take on it to folks who ask: I think it has to be a calling. If you can do something else, do it. Trying to do standup is such a grind that it just ain't worth it unless you just HAVE to do it. It's for people who have no choice. But if that is you, there's a deep, meaningful satisfaction that you can get from it. (Thx Lawson for the link.)

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