"I write all the time..." She said with sincerity and truth behind her words. It's true, she does write all the time, whether it's in a journal or on her blog or in her novel. She writes every day, several times a day.
"I'd write more too....but working, writing can sometimes be unproductive." This was also true for him. He is a high powered executive. He was raised privileged, and he's been a world traveler since infancy. From a young age he was taught to work and climb the ladder to the top where you can obtain the most money.
"You can still write and work. It's called managing your time. If you like writing, you can figure it out." She was serious about this. She's known people who used their time on the morning train to crack open their laptops and get out their prose.
"I mean....for me....I actually don't want to write more......like, I'd write more - except when I do....it takes me away from work, so I try to avoid (writing)" He was back pedaling, and he didn't know why. Something about her passion on the subject at hand made him feel like he had to defend himself.
She looked at him with a furrowed brow, not speaking, silently allowing him to continue, so continue he did, "Writing is fun and easy. Work is a pain in the ass. But writing makes (me) zero money. So....I try not to get into it too much....it takes me away from work."
"So you're telling me you're ruled by your bank account?" Her question was meant to be as piercing as it sounded. He just called writing easy... and fun... when she knew that anybody who tried to make it as a writer knew that writing is sometimes the furthest thing from easy and fun. It is HER PASSION... but passion doesn't make any lofty goal come without hard work, even if, at times, it is only fun and easy. She also resented the idea that because something doesn't bring immediate riches it can be cast aside with such ease of conviction.
"In some ways, yes." He answered her bluntly and directly... staring right into her eyes.
"Well, then I'm sorry for you. I understand needing money as a basic necessity, but I grew up poor. I still am poor. I'm somebody who's seen the evil side of money when it can be had in large quantities by greedy corporate clones." At this point, she wasn't trying to hide her disdain for his point of view on the matter.
"Not me, really. I grew up differently."
"That much I gathered."
"I find...life is way way way more fun with money."
"Fun is a state of mind. It's not something you have to buy. I have a lot of fun with no money in the bank."
"I guess it works for you, which is cool." His statement caused her eyes to narrow in on him.
"You have no idea how condescending that sounds, do you?" She pressed her lips together and wouldn't break eye contact with him.
The genuine look of shock on his face answered her question. No, he didn't know how condescending that sounded. His only response was, "It's not meant to be."
"I think you'll figure out what I'm talking about someday." She was ready to be done talking to him. She was searching her mind for a way to say goodbye.
Then he said, "Whatever....to each his/her own......I just know what's right for me." He had a definite attitude now. He didn't know why she was pressing this issue so much.
She picked up on his defensiveness and confusion, so she made a final attempt to clarify. In the most pleasant, non-incriminating tone she could muster she explained to him, "I'm not dissing hard work. But to say something isn't worth while because it doesn't put cash in your pocket is... well it's kind of a slap in the face to all artists. And, as much as I adore chatting with you and as much as I know you're not a bad person, it just left a really horrible taste in my mouth."
"Hey, I was just speaking for myself."
"I realize that, but this conversation has made me realize something about MYself." And with that she stood up from the table in the restaurant and walked out, leaving him to pay the bill with his oh so important bank account.
That day she learned she values her passion and her outlook on the world more than any price tag. Her writing IS hard work, and maybe one day it will pay off, but that certainly wasn't her motivation in the matter.
(This conversation actually took place today between myself and a man I've been talking to online for a few years. It didn't happen in person... that was my artistic liberties taking over. I hope you liked it.)