This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Pragmatic Artist: Ask Noah

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Q: I got my MFA in creative writing -- all I ever wanted to do was write. After grad school I continued to pursue writing while working for my father's business. Essentially, he was okay financing my creative education, as long as I "paid my dues" by supporting myself.

I've now been paying said dues for six years, while loyally continuing to submit my writing. Exhausted, overworked and underachieving in both areas, I can no longer do this dance. I find myself so depressed at the thought of abandoning my goals, but recognize how self-indulgent that sounds.

I like your practicality. How would you go about solving my conflict here?

A: It doesn't sound self-indulgent to feel sad and maybe even angry, over the possibility of no longer pursuing what you love.

You are being very pragmatic and this is a skill I feel artists often lack.

The need to support oneself financially through a "regular job" is simply the reality of trying to pursue a creative line of work and simultaneously being a responsible person.

It is important to recognize (as you have by your continuing to earn money in your father's business) that the creation of art doesn't exist in a vacuum.

As an artist pursues their creative endeavor, whether to make a career of it to sustain themselves or as a personal outlet, their pursuit must happen within the confines/parameters of the "real" world.

In your circumstances, I don't think having more time to write would mean greater success. Financial realities and the struggle involved in personal pursuits frequently work to fuel creativity, and without it we would all have less raw material to draw from.

You have reached a sound arrangement with your father, which speaks to his immense faith in you. He probably appreciates your inherent understanding and acknowledgement in the fact that we must all pay our dues, in one form or another.

What you need now is some honest reality testing! Being exhausted and overworked is often the price of admission for trying to achieve success in a very competitive creative profession.

Frankly, my chief suggestion for you would be in strengthening your threshold for emotional discomfort. Especially as you keep pursuing your non-traditional career.

However this topic begs a few more significant questions, which only you can answer...

A) Is this type of lifestyle worth the sacrifices you're making?

B) Do you need to achieve professional success as a writer to feel fulfilled?

The great thing about art is it exists unto itself! A writer, visual artist, actor, musician; painter and dancer who doesn't getting paid for their art is still an artist.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs