Learning How to Spell 9: Damn Hard Work

This right here is what some days feel like.

December 16, 2011

I love my job. I complain when things hit a snag, but overall, I love what I do. I love writing, talking about writing, and having the freedom to impart that knowledge, as well as seemingly random tidbits of arcane lore, on others and actually get a paycheck for it.

Said paycheck, though, is not as large as I wish.

Anyone interested in pursuing art as a job should be prepared to make cuts, make sacrifices, and basically do everything possible to balance the lack of income with a desire to make something unique in the world. I think I’ve done that… to appoint.

I knew going into this that I would probably not be able to afford fancy vacations (fancy in this case meaning anything out of the county), and I would most likely enjoy the solitude of books, paper and pen, and not much in the way of big expenses. In short, I was back in college. It’s not bad, really, but there are days I really question myself.

This freelance work I’ve been doing for an academy that helps teens get through drug addiction and abuse has been a life-saver, but the research and work really bother me on a few levels. Reading about so much pain and suffering, then turning it into a pitch for parents, feels a bit like profiting from tragedy. On another level, I believe drug prohibition should be done away with. It’s done nothing but empower the cartels and cost thousands of lives. It’s turned Mexico into a war zone and, as I write this, my grandmother and sister have had to go south and take care of some legal business and I can’t help but worry for them, even as they visit the once-beautiful city I was born and grew up in.

And therein lies the problem. It’s a nice paycheck, but I’m conflicted about the writing subjects. I’m pretty sure it’s what’s been causing my upset stomach and lack of sleep.

Freelancing is damn hard work. If you find a job, you go for that job full speed. If you can’t find work on a week-to-week or even month-to-month basis…

You’re screwed.

And this is why when people tell me writing is easy, I suppress the urge to punch them in the throat.

See you Monday for the next vlog! In the meantime, please enjoy a very Krampus Christmas by Anthony Bourdain

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