From the book, Your Money or Your Life, this early-chapter excerpt:
‘Even if we were financially able to turn our back on jobs that limit our joy and insult our values, we are all too often psychologically unable to free ourselves. We have come to take our identity and our self-worth from our jobs.
‘Our jobs have replaced family, neighborhood, civic affairs… and even mates as our primary allegiance, our primary source of love and site of self-expression. Reflect on that for yourself. Think about how you feel when you respond to that getting-to-know-you question, ‘What do you do’? with ‘I am a ___’
‘Along with racism and sexism, our society has a form of caste system based on what you do for money. We call that jobs, and it pervades our interactions with one another on the job, in social settings, and even at home.
What I say when asked ‘What do you do?’
I say ‘I am a writer.’
People, even people in my own family, have tried to shame me for this. But, so what. There are some short stories I have already written, and seen people read, and respond to, and even shed tears by reading them. This is something. I have engaged a friend who always wanted to write to write something and write it until it was the way she felt good about it and then published it and saw her words get shared and that was beautiful, because then she died.
Who has time to deal with the judgment of strangers, about what you want to do with your time?
A common scene is them saying:
Them: Oh, so what have you written that I would have read?
Me: Hm. Well, I don’t know. What’s the last book you read?