I used to have the type of job that, if someone asked you about it, you frown-shrugged and said, “I really like my co-workers.”

Interpretation: “This job is horrible. I dread waking up in the morning. But Joe and Jill, they’re pretty cool.”

The job was at a call-center for a big online university at my alma-mater. Generally, those of us who worked there were well-educated, enthusiastic recent-grads who just had no idea what to do with their degrees.

Long-story short, we found ourselves in a job where they formally reprimanded you for taking too long on your bathroom breaks.

We were utterly replaceable cubicle cogs in a machine that some stranger owned and operated.

Eventually I won a fellowship to a really great Master of Fine Arts program in the midwest. So I traveled with my family to pursue my dreams of writing. There, I found a group of similarly creative dreamers, with big imaginations and tons of potential.

Then, I graduated, and what were the options people presented me?

“Well, maybe you could get a teaching job. But probably not.”

“Well, you should start submitting your stuff to magazines. Better get started now, because they take months to get back to you, and the book publication schedule is awful. Living off your writing? Ha! Have you ever considered an office job?”

Why are creatives punished for pursuing their impractical but absolutely essential mission to create something beautiful?

I’m on a mission to make it work. That is, I’m on a mission to find out how creative people can work creatively. How can we create and get paid a living wage for it?

Join me on my quest to discover a new and sustainable path for creatives. Read, subscribe, email me (rmasters3784@gmail.com), or just join the conversation!