Damn Day Job
Let’s face it, if you are a writer or a creative type of any sort you hold a great deal of sympathy when I mention how much my day job gets in the way of my creative process. Seriously, give it some thought — we typically work eight hours a day. During those eight hours (and who in the hell pulled the number 8 out of their stanky butt cracks should be pimp slapped a few times) the delicate whispers of the muse will probably tickle our ear drums numerous times. And what can we do about it?
The creative process is a precious beast that will take us when it wants — no remorse, no requests, no questions asked. And it will take us from behind, from the front, from the top, from the bottom — we are at its mercy. And when it comes calling, you better be ready because that moment might not come back for a while. Of course I’m not talking literally. I’m not one that believes writing should only happen when true inspiration strikes. I write every single day, whether inspired or not. Why? Because even in those moments of non-inspired drafting, something beautiful may happen — a happy accident that might not have been penned otherwise. Sure some of it may be as worthless as cat yak, but hidden in that yak could be a nugget of truth otherwise unknown. And on that note…
I was an actor for a long time. In fact, for nearly twenty years my day job was being an actor. It was a beautiful thing to be paid to be creative all day, when everyone else was being paid to push papers, sharpen pencils, and let their souls slowly seep out of their dirty blow holes. Every day I woke up thankful for being able to do what I did.
But then…it all came crashing down. The economy nearly ripped the world of theatre asunder and many of the contracts simply dried up. So my life changed and I went from having a “play job” to a “day job”. The reality was harsh and one hell of a struggle.
And that is where I now exist — on some bastard plane of existence where the real work I want to be doing is pushed aside, for much of the day, by something that is only a means to an end. I wake up, every morning, knowing I should be toying with the realities I have created for characters I have invented, hoping to forge relationships and stories the public wants to know and enjoy. Instead, I am merely greasing the cogs of a machine I care not to be a part of. A means to and end. And on that note…
Today I dropped off a paperback edition of my book I Zombie I (purchase the Paperback on Amazon as well as the ebook edition) at my local bike shop (Bicycle Sport, for those of you who care to know) and was asked that age-old question would I forget the little people when I get rich and famous. My reply? Simple: The only thing that would change is I would quit my day job.
Day job. To any person of the artistic bent, the day job is this ugly, three-headed beast, that serves but one purpose — to crush the soul. That’s a problem, because the soul is the epicenter of creative process. As an actor, I would feel creativity bubbling up from some hidden recess of my being that I couldn’t truly define. The same thing can be said about my writing. It swims and shimmers within a cauldron deep within an untouchable, undefinable location and if it has no means to escape threatens to either cool off and harden into an unusable mass or boil and explode in a rush of madness.
I know, sounds like the over-dramatics of a teenage girl, but aren’t all writers (regardless of gender) prone to the overly done emotions of the teen set? And on that note…
Let’s face it, the indie author scene has exploded onto the world like a huge festering pustule, only to reveal something incredible. This developing organism has taken the reading public by storm and only promises to continue to morph into an ever-changing, but always beautiful, creature. It is almost perverse how agile and filled with possibility we are.
And anyone who has already jumped on the indie bandwagon knows that someday said bandwagon will carry us to a land where day jobs don’t exist and our muse — whatever they be — is free to vomit forth inspiration any time of the day with confidence that we will have nothing stopping us from acting on the inspiration.
Day jobs suck.
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