Ramblings of a Mercenary

Ah. The Freelance Writer's Lifestyle. An oddball existence if ever there was one. At times, it's, well, downright fucking awesome: you can stay up late if you feel like it, sleep in as a result, and more often than not (in my humble experience) you're left alone to render whatever fiendish oddities your brain concocts into a physical, readable reality. Providing the work is a) turned in (more or less) on time, and b) of sufficient caliber, an editor will likely dispense less flack than a "regular" boss' daily dose of diabolical dross.

Obligatory downsides do surface--short, sudden deadlines & missing/late/non-existent pay cheques principal candidates--and these are Things You Just Have To Deal With. They'll drive you batshit crazy (and boy, will they) but they're far less soul-destroying than the alternative; having worked for years as a store clerk, I had a regular (well, monthly) payday and a homogeneous, almost templated working week. The tedium wasn't the primary annoyance; rather, the Standing Around Doing Nothing for most of my eight-hour shift was the paramount irk. This, I used to tell myself, should be writing time. Productive gratification through craft. I made this my major inspiration to get the fuck out of dayjobsville; it eventually worked.

(Most of the dissatisfaction I experienced working shitty deadend jobs was my own fault, granted; my lack of enthusiasm in seeking out decent daily grind landed myself in this situation, which in turn inspired me to push my writing harder than ever. Y'know, what goes around comes around and all that.)

I guess this random brain spillage is a self-reminder of how I shouldn't take this shit for granted. Whenever things aren't going so well I should revisit this and remind myself of hateful customers, Shit Things That Need Selling and hours spent staring into space, musing about alternative realms of vocation. And then, when I'm done, I'll make up another story about a mutant chain-smoking gumshoe with an advanced case of Alien Hand Syndrome.

Hey, that reminds me...

"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." --Abraham Lincoln

"Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun." --Colleen C. Barrett