There is a dichotomy to being an artist of any sort, a division between the present and the past, that has to be reconciled if the artist is to have any chance of financial success. The necessity to earn an income from art forces the artist to dwell on his past work at a time when it would be more productive, artistically, to focus on new work. The need to constantly revisit a work, especially for writers, so that it can be promoted to an audience requires an almost bi-polar mindset in any artist. These two sides to the life of a working artist could hardly be more antithetical- whereas the work of creating meaningful artworks is a non-material inner process that is, by its very nature, divorced from mundane and material considerations, the work of promoting it is entirely bound up in material considerations, balance sheets and contractual obligation. To some extent all successful artists must prostitute themselves to pay for their privileged work life.
In an interview about Jimi Hendrix his last girlfriend Monika Dannemann said: “There is a space between the artist and the public, once the artist is an established artist, that the public expects the artist to do something that he saw him do six months ago, or a year ago, but six months ago, a year ago, is an image which, if it’s still alive in the eye of the public, is a forgotten image in the memory of the artist.” This would seem to be the most difficult problem of publicizing an artist’s work- by the time that a book is published (or an artwork is available for public consumption) the artist has moved on, the writer is writing new works, and the public is interested only in the old work.
In 1890 Conan Doyle studied the eye in Vienna, and moved to London in 1891 to set up a practice as an ophthalmologist. He wrote in his autobiography that not a single patient crossed his door. This gave him more time for writing, and in November 1891 he wrote to his mother: “I think of slaying Holmes … and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things.” His mother responded, “You may do what you deem fit, but the crowds will not take this lightheartedly.”- Wikipedia