There will always been malcontents among writers who are convinced that another career path would be so much better. In it, we would get more respect, money, and everything that the writing life didn't bring us. I confess I am among the malcontents.
In the mid 1980s I was among the herd of speechwriters who went to law school. We had had it with the brass, including the company lawyers, treating us like field slaves. Most of us didn't last more than a year in law school before we crawled back to speechwriting. Luckily, Kraft took me in.
More recently, we toyed with the idea of doing whatever it took to learn how to develop apps. After all, being among the high tech crowd would be so much more stimulating and satisfying than being among self-absorbed writers no matter how talented they are.
Well, it turns out that appland isn't the wonderland we envisioned. THE NEW YORK TIMES depicts it as, to begin with, glutted. Secondly, there isn't necessarily big money in it. Sure, here and there someone hits the money homerun. But there are more of the tragedies like the couple who sacrificed it all and only grossed about $5,000.
Will this teach us not to lust after others' professional paths? Not likely. Part of being a writer is to be filled with unease. Nothing feels quite right, including how we make our living.