I remember reading Sara Benincasa’s article Real Artists Have Day Jobs. It made an impression on me, which is why when I came across her book of the same name, I added it to my Amazon wish list. Out of all the books on that list, my friend chose to buy it for me as this year’s birthday gift.
The book refutes the idea that artists are always dreamily thinking up or romanticizing things. It also says that you don’t have to be wealthy or go to college to be an artist. However, the 52 essays in it don’t militantly advocate any of this. Instead, they are funny, thought-provoking, heartbreaking, relatable, and persuasive.
Although Benincasa admits that she is no expert at anything, she uses her experiences to impart some sound advice on life, without being condescending. She is outspoken and matter of fact, and at times her essays seem breezy. However, Benincasa’s sincerity is quite evident even as she uses self-deprecating humor and blasé style.
I laughed and cried as I read this book. I am sure I’ll read it again.
The following is a non-stalkerish fan letter to her based on her template from Chapter 39: Write Fan Letters.
Hi! My name is Sindhu, and I think your work is just amazing. I wanted to tell you that the stuff you make genuinely affects my life in a very positive fashion. For example, your book entertained and kept me laughing through a time when there was very little else to help me do so.
Anyway, thanks so much for reading my letter. Keep up the great work. I believe in you.