I have recently embarked on the journey of being a prose reader for a literary magazine that focuses on the stories and sufferings of abused women. I at first thought (to my genuine embarrassment) that this was a paid position. On learning that it was not, and that in fact no one working for this magazine is paid, I was at first upset, and then angry, and then grateful.
My anger didn’t come from dissatisfaction with a lack of monetary compensation. My anger came from the thought that this isn’t a unique case. I can’t imagine the number of journals and magazines, online or otherwise, that are full of passionate workers giving their time and energy to a cause in which they believe. That cause is art. In my case, that cause is telling the stories of suffering women through art. That these workers aren’t being paid simply because the demand for art is not high enough feels vile. I suppose I am more than a little biased, seeing as I love both art and feminism, but I find it downright ghastly that these people, contributing as they are to such a noble and caring cause, could go unsupported and unrewarded for so long.
Of course, they are always rewarded in the production of the art itself. This is where, in the train of my thoughts, I become grateful. I am grateful that people like this exist, that they continually produce art despite the lack of material fulfillment it brings. There aren’t many industries, besides the arts, that would ever function without payment. The arts aren’t any easier than these other industries, and they aren’t any less important (contrary to popular opinion), and yet the arts prevail.
This reminds me that, because art is dependent on passion and not on a salary, it will never die. Art cannot and will not be extinguished. Art, therefore, will always give me one more reason to keep living.
If you have a reason to keep living, whether it be big or small, simple or complex, send it with a photo and a brief explanation firstname.lastname@example.org. Your photo and writing will be featured on the Amber typewriter in weeks to come!
Read the original post of 101 Reasons to Keep Living to discover the genesis of this project.