Martha McPhee on the writer’s paradox

“This was the writer’s paradox—ego fueled the belief that one was about to become the exception. This is what kept me writing, the humongous ego, a necessity of the trade.
“Didn’t Twain go bankrupt? Didn’t Melville bet his farm on his work and lose?” she asked. “Don’t forget Shelley, who made precisely forty pounds from his writing, and most of that was for a novel he wrote while still in school.” We enjoyed this game. “Joyce, Pound, Milton, they all died in miserable, impoverished circumstances.”
Martha McPhee in her novel, “Dear Money”

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