GET A JOB.

A stable one. 9-to-5. With health insurance and a 401k. GET IT NOW.

Stop angsting over whether your Art or your Muse will survive Selling Out. Stop saying that your delicate artistic expressiveness can’t cope with an office job. Stop being allergic to money and then wondering why you can’t make rent and your lights are always being turned off.

Please understand that I’m not angry, and I’m not yelling. I’m Italian, and it’s how we talk when we get passionate. We get loud, and we curse, and it’s okay.

You can’t hack a “soul-killing” office job? You know what’s soul-killing? Having to sell your instrument or live out of your car. Believe me, the logic that office jobs and Working For The Man ruin one’s artistic creativity is a fiction created by idiotic trust fund kids with big ol’ safety nets beneath them, or people with rich spouses who bankroll their personal experimentation while they pat themselves on the back for taking pretend “risks.”

As for the rest of us? Get a damn job.

A stable one. 9-to-5. With health insurance and a 401k. GET IT NOW.

The thing about this is that it means your artistic life will take longer to germinate. You will need more of what the nuns used to call stick-to-it-iveness and what German Jews call sitzfleisch, the patience to just park your rump and work until something happens. You will need more determination, more patience, more stubbornness, more ability to balance free time, and more appetite for hard and seemingly fruitless work than you otherwise would if you could —

— hit the lottery and —

— do your art 24/7.

But here’s the thing. If you are in your 20s or 30s, I can guarantee you you will already need more of that than you currently think you’ll need. Young people are hideously impatient and completely unaware of just how long almost anything takes to come to fruition.

So … if this is going to take 15 to 20 years of unrelenting effort anyway, why the hell not have a stable, safe indoors office job that pays reliably for all that time? There’s a lot to be said for a good car, a grown-up sofa, and a real bed instead of a freakin futon, not to mention a savings account and a Roth IRA.

Just do it. Get a goddamned stable career-oriented job. Who cares if it has nothing to do with music, as long as you still have an instrument and free time in which to use it? Stop being allergic to and feeling guilty for making money and then being mystified at why you are always hanging by a thread. And stop using your art as an excuse for never getting your act together.

This has been building up for a while — it’s no one thing that brought it to mind, but … you just have to let things out eventually.