Why isn’t creativity valued for its own sake?

This evening, I painted some sprouts. Not literally, of course, that would be cruel. I painted a picture of some sprouts. Why? Because I saw beauty in them today. Because I felt the urge to paint. Because I wanted to. Instead of copyediting a book about the Gulf states and what they might do once they run out of oil, which will earn me £700, I painted, which will earn me nothing.

My painting

This is unfair. I am better at painting than I am copyediting. I prefer painting. I love it. It feels as if it is my destiny. Yet, I can’t earn money doing it. Nobody is ever going to pay me to paint sprouts. However much I might wish them to, they won’t.

My sprout tree. He’s called Norman.

I also love writing. I also use writing as a distraction from work. I write here, about art. I write about weird things that I come across in life in a different blog. I write for myself. I write here and there, whenever the urge grips me. Yet, nobody is ever going to pay me to write about what I want to write about. If I am very lucky (very lucky), I could perhaps earn some money for writing what I think people might want to read about or what other people think people want to read about. But I don’t think, realistically, that anybody is going to want to read about what I want to write about. Just as nobody is going to want to hang what I want to paint on their walls. They just aren’t.

So the two things I think I am good at, the two things that got me to be a master (or mistress) at something, aren’t going to get me anywhere in life. And that makes me a little bit sad. 

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