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Amanda Palmer goes into great detail around this issue in her book, "The Art of Asking".

Her basic premise is that asking for support, for payment, for patronage, is not the wrong way to go about getting support. It is one, perfectly valid, way to do it.

Whether it's a husband/wife supporting the other spouse with a high-paying job, fans supporting via Patreon, a grant from an artistic institution, a pension check, savings, credit cards, or other ways to pay living expenses, everyone is supported by something/someone.

She points out that we all have this romantic notion of "Walden" (often called "the manual for self reliance") being written by this solitary writer, who went out into a cabin in the woods and played hermit for a year.

A very romantic notion, sure.

But wrong.

Every weekend Thoreau was visited by family. Who brought him food and fresh-baked donuts.

So this whole "lonely ascetic writer in the woods" thing? Yeah. Didn't happen.

Amanda Palmer has turned this into a rallying cry for artists: TAKE THE DONUTS!

We all - artists, writers, etc - need to learn to take the donuts when they are offered to us... and even to recognize it when someone is doing so!

Being supported, being sponsored... hell, just paying the bills... does not diminish our art. And we need to learn to accept that.