Writing fiction is, in many ways, like a religion. It is a daily practice, a way of life, a set of rituals, an orientation toward the universe. It is a communion with the intangible, a bridge between the finite and infinite. There’s a reason religions use stories to communicate, and it’s the same reason religions persecute storytellers: Stories are powerful. They are how we make sense of what cannot be known.
So imagine a situation in which you were paid to pray, and in which a few of the devout were given huge payouts for their devotion. This does happen. It corrupts religions. And it corrupts writers too. In the words of the poet Jalaluddin Rumi: “If you want money more than anything, / you’ll be bought and sold. / If you have a greed for food, / you’ll be a loaf of bread. / This is a subtle truth: / whatever you love, you are.
The above text is by Mohsin Hamid in NYTBR's Bookends section, and I totally stole it from Ted Thompson's blog. But I absolutely agree with the first segment, in that writing is a devotional act. All art is spiritual, although you could probably argue that life is, too.
The second paragraph I cannot comment on, although I can perhaps observe similar instances in the acting world.