“Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living,” said Flaubert. A meticulous writer whose novels became classics though he was, Flaubert died penniless. Many great writers lived rather miserable lives because writing was not a very remunerative job in those days. There were many artists too who lived in utter poverty though after their death their paintings were sold for sums which they could never have imagined in life.
Is it because they never worked for money that their works had such profundity? Does money contaminate everything it touches?
There is no money in blogging anyway. At least, not anything significant. Flaubert and Dostoevsky could accept the agony of pennilessness because they were in search of something much more meaningful than money. It is their search for meaning that made their writing profound. And that search, the search for meaning, is an endless search.
Why don’t we find such deep writing today? The best writers of our times take shelter in the intrigues of history and/or the chiaroscuro of language. V. S. Naipaul had even gone to the extent of proclaiming the death of the novel. Contemporary society cannot inspire profound works. The human species has become too shallow intellectually and emotionally. Spiritually too, of course. Godmen have taken the place of gods. Mammon has taken the place of gods. Money cannot stir the depths within. But who wants depths anyway?
As a blogger I too would be happy to make some money out of the hobby if possible. But there’s nothing in it. And yet I continue to blog. As Joan Didion said, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear...” I know that blogging for me is more than just an addiction. That’s why I cannot but blog.