Here's a truth which was whispered to me occasionally as I strived towards my writing and music careers: it's not true that it's hard to make a living in the arts.
Yes, there are tons of people angling to get through that door, but if you weed out the poseurs, the assholes, and the self-destructives, the remainder is a comically small group.
The (non-trivial) problem is to avoid that weeding-out, yourself. For one thing, you've got to be good - not just sort of "good enough" (people who settle for "good enough" count as poseurs).
It's a serious problem that a certain number of poseurs, assholes, and self-destructives make it through in spite of themselves, giving false hope all around. Plenty of wannabes survey the scene and conclude that's part of the gig.
Among the remainder - the comically small group - any sense of competition is an illusion.
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