“The financial rewards (of writing) just don’t make up for the expenditure of energy, the damage to health caused by stimulants and narcotics, the fear that one’s work isn’t good enough. I think if I had enough money, I’d give up writing tomorrow.”
-Anthony Burgess to The Paris Review
I think if I had the guts and vision to write A Clockwork Orange or Nothing Like The Sun, I’d give up money tomorrow. Anthony Burgess may have just been having a bolshy sodding smeck at the expense of his admirers when he said that, but it’s also entirely possible he meant it.
Was he really not bringing in enough scratch to make the grueling parts of the creative process bearable? Is being a celebrated author/translator/screenwriter/critic/librettist a deceptively hard-knock life?
I doubt it. Maybe his budget favored stimulants and narcotics a little too much. But I also doubt this lament was ever echoed by Stephen King, a former drunk who has admitted to utilizing mirrors and razor blades for things other than shaving.
The real question is: How much money would have made a person like Anthony Burgess happy?
Or, how much writing?