It’s rather as if the spontaneous Romanticism of the nineteenth-century poets had become a job description; we know what a romantic is (his politics, his behavior patterns), we know that is the way to literary greatness, so let’s do it. Coetzee’s novel Youth captures with fine wryness the trials of a methodical young man seeking to make a career out of becoming the kind of writer he is not.
I believe John Betjeman used to give his occupation as poet and hack. I think I could say the same. But I did it the old-fashioned way: I sort of fell into it (except the poetry, which was always a private vice).