Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Being as Productive as Your Artistic Heroes

Nifty inforgraphics here based on data from Mason Currey’s significantly niftier Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

One thing I really, really want to flag, though: Look carefully at the green “Day Job/Admin” bars. Fewer than half of the folks listed here (which are a very small sub-portion of the folks dealt with in the book, as I recall) have *any* time devoted to a day job. Those that do (Kurt Vonnegut, Wolfgang Mozart, and Sigmund Freud we’re specifically called out for “spending a good deal of their time working a separate day job,” even though Kafka seemed to have a more regular job than any of them) still only put in a half-day by modern American work standards.
Maybe you are like basically every artist I know: Someone who creates things, and also puts food on the table and keeps the lights on by selling his or her labor the old fashioned way. If that’s the case, and you are feeling down on yourself because you aren’t cranking out stories like O’Connor or Dickens, cut yourself some slack: You work for a fucking living.
Still feeling glum? Then take a second to imagine Vladimir Nabokov making cold calls trying to get folks to answer survey questions or Maya Angelou troubleshooting connectivity issues with the office’s wifi enabled printer.
Yeah, you, me, we aren’t writing Lolita, but Nabokov would run screaming from a half-day of what we do. Solidarity, brothers and sisters.