#MakeArtNotHousePayments

Can I just ask who the freak came up with this hashtag? Seriously? Do they really believe being an artist exempts people from adult responsibilities? So, when artists accrue doctor or utility bills, or go grocery shopping, or go buy their five dollar lattes, do they have some sort of magical artist stamp that miraculously pays their part?

If so, can someone please share that damn stamp?

Actually, never mind. I don’t want to take the easy way out, because as an artist – an author – I’ve found that passion rarely manifests without struggle. Passion happened when I was juggling work and family time, exhausted, yet unable to sleep because the need to create was too overwhelming. That’s when I was finally able to overcome fear and doubt enough to open a vein and pour my life into my manuscript. (Disclaimer: Metaphorically speaking, of course. I do not condone cutting or suicide, even for art.) So now when someone recognizes my passion and is willing to pay for it, you better believe that the last thing on my mind is #MakeArtNotHousePayments.

Oh hell no. I’m thinking, YAY! I get to do this and still feed my family! Yay, I don’t have to sell plasma this week. Score! #kiddingNotKidding.

People who throw up hashtags like #MakeArtNotHousePayments (encouraging others to throw their responsibilities to the wind and create) make me want to fashion a shiv out of their art and shank them with it because #WritingMafiaBooksTeachesMeFunSkills.

For real though, be an adult. Nobody owes you a free pass because you make pretty pictures or songs or spread words across a page. Keep your debt low to keep the pressure off, but either treat your art as a job and work your butt off until you make money at it, or treat it as a hobby and pair it with a job. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool that you feel called to create, but you should also feel called to adult and pay your damn bills. And who knows? The struggle might actually make you a better artist.

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Amanda Washington

Amanda Washington loves animals, books, dark chocolate, and red wine. She's always up for a good adventure (real or fictional), and when she's not building imaginary worlds, she's dipping her toes into reality in southwest Washington with her husband and their boys.

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