"Success in the Arts"
When I speak to young people about writing, I wonder if they will have the discipline and fortitude to endure the years of hardship that most apprentice writers have to experience. I also wonder if they will have the wisdom to cope with success, should it ever come their way.
As an aspiring author in the 1960s and '70s, I had a powerful drive to succeed. If I had been pressed to define the term, I would have said that a successful author is one who is able to support himself and his family through his writing. He should be able to make a living with his craft.
But there was more to it. I began to notice that many of the "successful" people in creative fields suffered fractured lives that led them into depression, burn-out, alcoholism, drug abuse, hedonism, and divorce—estrangement from faith, family, and community, everything that really mattered. It seemed a cruel hoax. After an author, actor, musician, or artist had mastered his craft, after struggling and clawing his way to center stage, there he encountered a mockery of his ambitions, a dark mirror image that was, in fact, the direct opposite of success . . . (click below to read more)"
Link to story in WORLD Magazine (once there, scroll to bottom of page)