This was posted on facebook by an author on my friends list today. He is probably quite well known, I find quite a lot of the authors on my timeline are fairly successful. I objected to it, despite several of his followers applauding it.
Why? I have never experienced it, so I have no idea how that would work. I can tell you what gives you drive as an artist, and it isn’t comfort or happiness. It is constantly questioning what you are doing and why. It is abandoning things you spent weeks on, wasting time in order to get things right. Sometimes it is waiting for months to move things on by an inch, particularly if there is no prior model to work from.
The food and home part, yes that is Malthusian. The lovely people part, no. Lovely people are less likely to challenge you, and challenge is essential for the best possible results.
He asked me to explain myself.
“Well I could tell you a story, but it would probably involve drama, conflict and negativity.” My idea being that any decent story involves drama, conflict and negativity, therefore as an author he should know that comfort is REALLY BORING. Which writer improves? The one that is told how marvellous he is by a compliant and doting companion, or the one that is challenged and stimulated?
Academics invite each other to argue against their hypotheses all the time. It is done in order to strengthen the argument. Artists are also keen on discussing their methods, if they are any good. Why then, are we spreading this complacency via crap like this?
Aging should not mean sinking into a chair being reassured that everything we do is fine. That sounds like a swift death to me.