The article, How to be a Failure for a Month, Year, or Decade and Still be Okay, written by Christina Fitzpatrick is a witty, sometimes funny, essay on how much it sucks to be a creative type in a world of people who think 9-5 with a steady paycheck is the only sane way to live.
She laments on the unsolicited advice:
In bars, at dinner parties, even minding my own business on airplanes or among close friends — everyone wants to give me advice. Maybe you should become a schoolteacher? A paralegal? How about a nurse? A nurse in a psych ward?
And then gives advice (7 rules to be exact) on how to stay sane as a creative type whose income or job description isn't as concrete as others would like it to be. My favorite was #6, "Avoid Shitty People".
What kind of shitty people? The ones that say, “So are you still writing? Acting? Competitive eating?” The ones who say it with an intonation of incredulity, the ones who treat anything you’ve ever achieved as something distant, small, or lackluster. The ones who mention someone else who’s doing everything you do better at a younger age with more money to show for it. This person is shitty — far, far shittier than the dude who stole your purse or ransacked your bank account or forgot to tell you he was cheating on you. You wouldn’t hang out with the purse thief or the identity thief or the heart thief, so why are you hanging out with the good-vibes thief?
Avoid him. Keep your prized feelings in a safe. Lock your windows and doors. If he still appears, through an air vent or forgotten crawl space, inform him that you are feeling murderous. And be compelling.
Avoid shitty people. That's pretty much my New Year's resolution from now on. Every year. Even if I didn't know a single shitty person, or any persons who are not shitty generally but have their weak moments, it would still be my New Year's resolution. It's just so good in that way that it applies to everything you can think of, and it makes you smile about things that are otherwise, well, shitty.
I pulled this week's word from Fitzpatrick's 6th rule: