I thought her essay was okay and she even made some valid points. It’s pretty difficult to be creative with a day job. Plenty of people do it, obviously; but are they successful? Without hard data, I’d still wager that unless they’re the product of dumb luck, most really aren’t.

Then again, success is like a football field where the goal posts keep getting moved back — nothing is ever good enough. You’d think having a book published would be enough, but then it’s like, gee, where the hell is the money. Once the money comes, it’s like, gee, where’s the movie deal?

What I think people need to realize, more than anything, is that critical acclaim and accolades are mostly B.S. At best, they’re a way to get early recognition— but after that’s established, you move on to doing something more commercial. That is, of course, if the end goal is money.

Probably the biggest mistake was not taking the two-book contract. I’m far from an expert in this, but I think publishers do that primarily because they realize it’s gonna take two books for readers to become familiar with what you do.

And in any other industry, unless you’ve built a significant following on your own, it’s standard. If you were a recording artist, you would likely not sign a one album deal with a record label — it’d be for at least 2–3 albums.

I just think she made some poor decisions.

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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