You’ve got your Artists: the annoying, high-maintenance minority. [...] so ethereal and perfect that delusions of grandeur are tolerated.
Then there are the Exiles: people who just can’t make it in any other business, could never survive a nine-to-five job, wear a tie or blend in with civilized society -- and their comrades, the Refugees, [...] for whom cooking is preferable [to other work].
Finally, there are the Mercenaries: people who do it for cash and do it well. Cooks who, though they have little love or natural proclivity for cuisine, do it at a high level because they are paid well to do it -- and because they are professionals.I see, in those descriptions, several types of writers. The literary Artists whose originality and perfection stop my breath and force me to endure beats of despair until I accept that such will never be me. The Exiles (whom I don't understand) and the Refugees (whom I'm currently aligned with, although reconsidering). But overall, being a practical person at heart (with an enormous love of literature) and good at execution, I am, I suppose, a Mercenary.
Cooking is a craft, I like to think, and a good cook is a craftsman -- not an artist. There’s nothing wrong with that [...] Practicing your craft in expert fashion is noble, honorable and satisfying. And I’ll generally take a stand-up mercenary who takes pride in his professionalism over an artist any day. When I hear “artist,” I think of someone who doesn’t think it necessary to show up [...]. More often than not artists’ efforts [...] are geared more [to themselves...] than satisfying the great majority of dinner customers.What kind of writer are you?