Ok, so this is kindof a funny story. I went back to my graduate school several years ago to participate in a panel discussion about publishing, and I volunteered to represent the argument for self-publishing. I pretty much got pummeled in the discussion by a rather commercially successful peer whose books I have not read. I wound up trying to defend “art for art’s sake” to an audience of journalists hungry for publication. It was very uncomfortable and left me feeling that my writing program was creatively bloodless and toxic. I’m not as angry about it anymore, but I definitely wish I had not spent all that money. Transcriptions as usual.
I considered writing him a letter saying I’d like to continue our intriguing disagreement while making it plain that he was wrong about everything. Particularly me.
I decided my talents would be better used elsewhere.
If your life isn’t art, what is it?
It’s amazing to me how much my ego got involved in this, but considering that I’ve sortof identified myself as a writer my entire life, my confidence was shaken more than I was expecting by this awkward public confrontation.