Be you Bukowski and a blue-collar drunk or Williams and a practicing doctor, you're a writer, plain and simple:
What it all comes down to is this: the nexus of prestige, money (and one’s relationship to it), time, socio-economic position, and self-image is something that each writer navigates for herself. There is no one correct answer; and quite frankly, we’d be surprised if any writer has ever consistently chosen the same answer over the course of an entire career. Certainly, to shoehorn the possibilities into the four Gessen enumerated is to radically diminish the possibilities for writers working today.
All of this was in our heads when we decided to present a special issue of The Quarterly Conversation focused on writers (and readers) and work. We work, and we suspect that most of you do too. We also read and write. Well, it’s time we consider how it all comes out.