I’ve been selling myself for a while. A little paycheck hangs off each word. Not to say that any of these sentences are worth a damn; they are not. It’s just that I’ve been doing little pieces of freelance work, nothing to brag about, and I’ve been paid for it. That’s how this whole wild world works. Without capital, the oldest profession in the world would be no more. I get that too. But the whole idea of getting money for doing something you would otherwise do for free is unsettling.
You start writing because you have a soul, a gnawing, insatiable soul that screams to get out. Then you listen to it and let it bubble from your pen. It first comes out in splatters, messy, incoherent blurbs, but soon you refine the edge, understand the weight of paper, and tame the voice that once bellowed. Then when the soul is honed and proper, when you’ve grown acquainted with it, taken it out, shown it off, dressed it up for yourself and others because look, look, doesn’t this read well and shit, this must be good, you sell it. Word by word, you pawn it off to people who want to read it. Then years later, when you’re tired, and you’re successful, and you cycle the things that worked, you no longer have a soul. It has been diluted. It has been stretched on paper. And there is no voice that screams anymore. There is just you, and your skin wrinkles, your mind ebbs, and your hair grays until it does no more.