Saturday, January 13, 2007

From dream to reality... in: from my island kingdom to the ugly reality of work.

I have to admit the stories I must complete over the next week or so -- a 2000-2500 word piece promised for Monday, another (which must be written in two versions for two magazines) of similar length due as soon as I can get all the preliminary work done -- are, in themselves, not bringing me down at all. I had fun gathering data for them, and in ordinary conditions they'd be simple to write.

These are not "ordinary conditions." Or, to be more precise, they are ordinary, but seem to weigh on me a little more every day.

Simply put, work has become the sole focus of my life. When I'm not actively involved with it, one or more facets of it are affecting what I do. I worry when I'm not working (or don't have any stories nearing deadline), worry because the checks are coming in too slowly. I can't even play effectively, knowing whatever it costs to do something I enjoy will come out of my dwindling resources.

The end result is that I work sporadically, less effectively when I actually do force myself to concentrate and with less satisfaction gained when I final ship the end result to an editor.

PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: I know a lot of people who are bugged by their jobs. I've been there myself in the past. But I gave up quite a bit -- job security, benefits, steady paychecks -- to do something I enjoy, so I'd like to think it was worth it. Right now, it's not.

So what's the cure? Fabulous Furry Freak Brother "Freewheelin' Franklin" once observed that dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.

He was almost right. What I -- who seem to bear a more than passing resemblance to Freak Brother "Fat Freddy," right down to the orange-cat sidekick -- say is: love will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no love.

Right now, I have neither love nor money. Or dope, for that matter.

On Scribbler Island, Freak Bros. comix will be readily available. I may even put up statues to them....


likeisaid said...

I've always wanted to be a writer. It seems like you really enjoy your work and just wish that the people you work with would cooperate more.

I can just see you on an island, writing away. What a dream that would be, sipping a drink and eating grapes while writing. :)

HarpO'Fly said...

I think love is overrated. Companionship, maybe not. What passes for love is often every hidden self destructive death wish a person didn't know he had masquerading as potential bliss.
Work is good, even when it seems otherwise. You only know when it is gone.

Anonymous said...

I have no money or dope. However, I do have love, and I am thankful for that. I hope things improve for you soon, Scribs. You deserve it.


MrScribbler said...

So, Mr O'Fly, would I be better off if I listened to Freewheelin' Franklin?

Nothin' stronger, though. After all, as Fat Freddie reminded us: "Keed Spills!...Pill Skeeds!...Skill Peeds!"

Sunny said...

I'd be sipping Margarita's and fresh coconut milk and eating bananas!

I was almost chosen for the financial assistance of journalism classes but the funding fell through.

Hmmm, sometimes I wonder... how it would have played out. :)

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful writer...
I understand what Harpo is saying completely...
and that he is talking about "what passes for love" not real love.

MrScribbler said...

I understand HarpO's message too, lz....

It's measure of my weakness that I know the many failings of the one I love but still love her....

joan said...

At least you have a talent and a choice. And popular island destination.

Good luck on the writing.

KauaiFinn said...

We have discussed before of the misconception that artists/writers produce their best works while suffering from insurmountable emotional pain. I'm so sorry you're feeling this way.... Shall I send you some Maui Wowie?

Q: How many writers do you suppose find success? (what percentage, would you guess?) -- Oh, and when i say success: what success means to me is earning enough money to live a reasonably comfortable life for US standards. Enough to pay the bills, to have a new or failry new car (doesn't have to be a damned Hummer), and have some spare cash to put aside into savings.

I have always assumed there are far more writers who find success than fine artists - as there are far more different avenues a writer can take... or am i completely wrong about this?

Where am i going with this? hmmm... Well, i was just curious of what other directions you have gone as a writer, and if you'd be willing to share all of what you've done & what it had been like for you. And also: if you could list all the areas/jobs of writing you have not explored -- and why?

I'm planning on taking Journalism and any other writing courses when I go back to school - and there's a part of me that would love to imagine I could take off with a career in writing rather than Law - And i'd like to know what all the options are for a writer, what it's like in the different fields, and what the chances are for an aspiring writer to really make a living as you do.

(Despite what you think of your own status, I consider you to be a success. Because you *are* making a living. Although it may not be as great as you would hope -or as i would hope for you - at least you have managed to keep a roof over your head. And to me: that is fantastic!)

Oh, and ditto on what Harpo said.

*hugs* and alooooHa!