Friday, December 11, 2009

Decisions, decisions and the frittering away of time

Things I've done while procrastinating writing this post:

  • Read a blog post by David Byrne on the ramifications of digitization and computer networking (interesting and scary)
  • Tried to find online evidence of David Byrne's sexuality (indeterminate, as far as I can tell)
  • Listened to the Police song "Miss Gradenko", which was in my head when I woke up this morning (decent little song that I haven't heard or thought of in 20 years or so)
  • Read the NY Times review for "Up in the Air", which I saw at the Arclight this afternoon (I give it a B+/A-)
  • Read a bunch of crap on Twitter, including a story about penniless brothers who were living in a cave in Hungary and who have just inherited a billion dollars from their long lost granddaughter (!!!)
  • Listened to Ode to Joy (uplifting)
  • Read a bunch of "best of 2009" music roundups (a colossal waste of time once you've read a few, as the indie music media/blogosphere is mostly a big echo chamber)
  • Sought out the MySpace page of local LA band Warpaint, based on recommendation from aforementioned lists (decent)

All told today, I've probably spent five hours meandering aimlessly online, and, truth be told, that is probably less time than usual. It's the result of a combination of a surfeit of time, chronic laziness and plain old fear. Time because I'm not working right now. Laziness because I'm not being disciplined about the use of my time - because I have so much of it, I squander it, whereas if it were more limited, I would probably be more efficient and not, say, spend hours reading blogs that give advice to writers (ha.) Fear because, let's face it, I'm terrified of this whole business of being a writer.

I have known that writing is a calling for me since I was pretty young - probably since second grade, when I "published" my first story, a mystery revolving around an international jewel thief. (My aunt, a lawyer, had her secretary type it up and bind copies for my family.) In the years since, I've stumbled in and out of writing - I've taken classes in creative writing, screenwriting, memoir and "writing from a spiritual perspective"; I've had at least four blogs that have never really taken off; I've written freelance articles for a few publications here and there; and I've entered (and lost) short story writing contests. But I've never been able to commit to a regular writing practice, and that is my biggest struggle of all.

And now here I am, having completely burned out on my career in public relations (which is a story in its own right, but for another time,) and feeling like the only thing I'm sure of is that I want to focus on the craft of writing. Great, right? Right. But then there's the problem of making a living. And here's where it gets tricky. I know for a fact that I need a full time job so that I stay out among the living and so that my time is structured, so this is no lament that I don't want to work. Rather, my dilemma is deciding exactly how - do I try to get paid to write in some way? Or do I go for a job that pays the bills, is not too mentally taxing, and allows me to write whatever I want in my free time?

More to come.

Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over


KCintheSunshineLand said...

It takes huge cajones to do what you did. I admire you for not ignoring those inner nudges. A lot of people do that and end up spending years, heck a lifetime being miserable, only to collect a shitty retirement.

I trust someone will find you as talented a writer as we do and will pay you huge for it. :) Until then, we look forward to your next post.

Jane Donuts said...

Commenter, you make me blush. Thank you! I don't know who you are, but I'm glad you're out there.