Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Fine Line between Work and Money

Perhaps it’s the heat, perhaps the sheer feeling of not finding myself for the last few days, but somehow there is a strong urge to leave everything and run away to the mountains. Lose myself in the forests there, feel, touch and even smell the cool green. Yet, there is no escape….for all that I do is work. Wonder what happened to me?

Today, I took out my child and her friend to a smallish science fair, a nice enjoyable place…And soon as I came back, I was hacking on the computer. I work on my own, unplanned, unthought, not particularly creative anymore, nor truly productive in the sense of leaving a mark in the world. Sometimes I wonder if what I do matters, it gets me some money, but these are completely lost in the space of the large world. These are but words created, objectives met at the end of the day.....and it has little to do with me.

And then I always trawl for work-even if I have more than I need. My friend has a wonderful phrase for it, a condition that afflicts freelance writers, the “starving writer syndrome”. It is a peculiar place, you are never sure of the work you get. Even if you have a job, you are not sure whether the words you write match up to the needs. Then again, because you have a creative edge, even if you don’t expect it much anymore, the idea of doing something “dead end” bores you. Strange, you want the work, yet you do not want it.

But this is becoming too dark and remorseful; just imagine us writers sitting in our smug corners, with words as our arsenal, throwing in a punch at the most unexpected places. In the commonality of newsletters, corporate shing ding writing, an ad perhaps or even content that matters to no one….we laugh at the world in our silent way, because we can.

I wonder whether all who use the peculiar skills given to us, and treat it like a trade-able commodity, actually walk the narrow line happily. Van Gogh, with paintings that could make you stand still for a lifetime, never even sold a scrap, while me a hack, who merits not even one hundredth the talent actually manages to garner some money...

Well so much for musings, and now I begin to wonder if I can make this blog payback….sometimes even a hack has to be wise!


Arun said...

Dunno about you, but I write as if my ass is on fire because I have this very real sense of running out of time. I admire you for being willing to spend the time and effort to maintain this blog, and I hope you can turn it into a paying proposition.

As for me, I refuse to write for free anymore. (That'll be seventy rupees plus service tax, pleayuz.)

Little Dandelion said...

oh god i so relate to this