Don’t Buy a House
by James L. Carey
My post today is less of a post and more of a quote by a writer that struck me as a bit of common sense which means that it isn’t really a commonplace sentiment in the world.
“The curse of all successful writers is the dream of all Americans: owning a house.
Houses have ruined a lot of literary artists, more so than drugs or drink. Jack London built himself a palace and then committed suicide. Mark Twain almost went bust maintaining his Connecticut digs.
If I had one piece of advice to give to aspirant writers it would be: Don’t—don’t, don’t, don’t—under any circumstances buy a house you could not afford if you were a plumber’s assistant.
Or, as a veteran Hollywood agent told me not long ago: Put your money in the bank; if you buy anything, pay cash, and if you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it.”
~ PHILIP CAPUTO, author of A Rumor of War
I really appreciate this quote because it echoes a sentiment I deeply feel, that the measure of success is not owning or accumulating what we are told is the yardstick of a fulfilling, accomplished American life.
But I think you can also remove the word “writers” from the first sentence and insert whatever field you dream about being successful in when your head hits the pillow.
Painter, engineer, car salesman, interior designer, trapeze acrobat, beautician, nurse.
Whatever you include, it works perfectly for. Garner your experience and craft your expertise. You are working towards creating something only you can bring into the world, not to obtain someone else’s creation or product.
Now go forth and stuff.