Sunday, December 14, 2008

Am I Seriously That Desperate For A Blog?

The answer you are looking for is, yes. Yes, I am definitely that desperate for a blog. OK in all fairness I am really only desperate for a personal blog because I have been writing Green Leaf Reviewer every day for a couple months now so my brain is pretty much just jostling around in the eco friendly water and it is like I lost focus on everything else. Or at least my ability to write about it. So lucky for everyone that follows me this might just be the most chaotic of all my blogs yet. Look for fun links to hysteria.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my “career”, or rather what I think I really want that “career” to be. Yeah if I was talking out loud those would have been annoying-girl air quotes because to me “career” is not really something I ever considered real or tangible, it was always just a mystical thing that people who went to college for four years fell into as soon as they got out. The rest of us, who got bored too quickly and did not quite make the college cut, worked all weekend in retail jobs or as Executive Assistants (or as I like to call them Prostitutes Without the Sex [hopefully] but Only Very Rarely Earning Similar Income).

I used to work in the most boring job ever in this exact role (seriously, 5 minutes of work a day…that will probably become a chapter, definitely a fun story full of interesting characters). Keep in mind that I started with this company in a February. I kept a journal with me at all times to write out my thoughts because after the first three, eight hour days in a row of doing nothing but playing spider solitaire I was starting to freak out. I called it my boredom journal because when the boredom began to rise I took great pleasure in replacing it with a scribbled line of crazed insanity that I might be able to use later. On May 9th I wrote:

“Day after day there are news stories reported about people who literally snap. I believe these people are Executive Assistants.”

I actually managed to stay at that job for another five months and never lost it (miraculous). Of course, I quit with no notice via email (something I had never done before or since).

Most of the jobs I have had over the past twenty (::scary::) years I kind of fell into out of some random twist of fate -- I knew someone who knew someone and it got my foot in the door, or, I was just a write off so the interview was nothing more than to make sure I had a social security number for tax forms. I was really tired of the role I had carved out for myself in the corporate world, the one I could never seem to advance past even though I was always eager to, so for the past year I have been running my own business doing faux finishing. I love faux but it is a shelf life job because seriously I will not be climbing up and down ladders to pounce glaze at age 65 (so you better go ahead and hire me now before its too late…you know who you are).

Then what is it I really want to do for a “career”? It is a good question and one I have been asking myself a lot because I feel that once I have the answer it is actually going to show up. My loose response is I want to be a writer. Narrowing that down a little further it comes down to novelist or blogger. I wonder why I can’t just get paid to spout all this hoo-ha. I mean, hell, if I could make a living doing it, I would definitely start writing this every day. Heaven knows I have plenty of insanity running around my brain that I could satisfy a daily purge. Bukowski did it. At least I’m pretty sure he must have. His stuff is pretty fucked up ya know? The encouraging news is that his writing did end up published so there must be some market out there for the crap I have to say too. I mean, he even got a few novels out of the deal.

The issue is that when I think of a novel it tends to be some 400 page glory-story with a plot and characters and a setting…blah, blah, blah. I have about four of them in various stages sitting on my hard drive right now but every time I open them up I end up doing nothing more than editing what is already there and closing it because my inspiration expires. Probably because none of what I wrote is in any way related to my lame life of football watching and sewing so now comes the big question -- how do I write the real novel that is floating around in my schizo brain, manage to get it published and sell a bajillion copies so I can go ahead and call what I do a “career”?

Or, is the real question -- why do I give a crap about having a “career” anyway and how about just having fun with what it is I want to do then just enjoy when the money follows?

Hmmm. Interesting concept and advice I have given to many people many times so why do I find it so difficult to take my own advice?

Ah…questions that never seem to be answered are on the rise again! When I reread all my old journals that becomes like a metaphor for my entire life.

I guess the real moral of my story up to now is that I need to stop being afraid to just put it all out there and finally get my shit together to do so.

End rant.


Rosebud Collection said...

A good rant is good for the soul..
When the time is right, you will get going, but always think what makes you happy..One step at a time.

Southern Maine was a mess..My one daughter is in Biddeford and they just got their electric back..She was staying with another daughter in So.Portland.
New Hampshire was terrible from what I read. How about you? Hope all is well, we have our electric back again..was off/on..but this time I think it will last.
Keep safe..

pastrywitch said...

I feel your angst. If you want to explore writing as an option, here's a link to a website my friend is publishing through. It could be fun.

Karen said...

I must say that I was surprised to read this post... especially this:

< My loose response is I want to be a writer>

Huh??? I've always thought that a writer is *exactly* what you are! Can you make enough money to live on being a writer? Yes, but I imagine it's a tough row to hoe.

I love to write, too, and a lot of the time I write what I think people want to hear instead of writing what I want to say. So, let me share what helps me in hopes that it will help you... a scribbled note taped to my monitor that says "Write Courageously".

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks gals! Sometimes it is good just to get it all out ya know?

Rose we never lost power, luckily we're just shy of the ice line so only got rain. Hope yours & your family's maintains all over!

Kate that links is great thanks so much! Hmmm...Green Love :) That is right up my alley!

Karen it can be tough but a life I want to pursue anyway. Lots of rejection but there are enough unfinished novels in my head to satisfy any contract! I am so borrowing your line, that is awesome!

Julie said...

"Careers" are highly overrated as far as I'm concerned. To some people, the job I work could be considered a career. To me, it's just a job I don't mind. I was thinking about this a few days ago when I realized I would never fit in the "career girl" pumps. I work to live, not the other way around.

And that's coming from someone with that college degree, the pursuit of which was just a means of delaying a decision.

Suldog said...

Well, if you find out the secret to making livable wages from blogging, please let me know.

(But don't tell anyone else. If everybody finds out, the market for our stuff will plummet.)

Silvia said...

Jenn, how much I find myself in your fuckingly wise words, and pardon teh bad language, and even not correct maybe, as I'm not english mothertongue:-(

Maybe it's the age, while you write 20 "scary" years, meaning "oh Gosh! Already 20 years" of career or lived life as an adult?" Can't believe it either...I don't feel and I don't care about my age, as I feel 15 yrs old on average!...
That lost or not already found road, I mean it's just in all of our minds...Can't be a global virus!!:-D

It's not about "career", for folks like us, I guess: it's more about "to do something I can deeply enjoy, useful for me and in the best perspective also for others, it doesn't matter richness"...

Unfortunately we've to live in this part of the "civilized" world,therefore you need some money:-(
But it's not about money that gorgeous sense of peace we'd like to hear at the bottom of our hearts.

You don't have to write endless plots aka novels if you don't feel to do that, and your instinct recognizes what's wrong indeed..You just have to write what flows best from your fingers:-D IMHO, beyond your bad experiences as you wrote, rejections and so on (quite normal, I'm thinking about Jack London and his many defeats), you just have to write, that's it. Well, not that compliment so great, considering my language is italian, but trust me that even with my poor knowledge compared to you, english speaker, I can feel the good vibes when one write well:-) Can't explain it...And I clarly recognized when a piece is written bad...

So, let the writing flows (kinda Santan's song "Let the Children Play")naturally, day by day, in your blog and I'm sure (with maybe a bit of more marketing crap) you'll succeed dear Jenn! And we'll celebrate with a Pint of Guinness:-P
Sorry, a too long comment, I know, I beg your pardon:-)But today was a bad day, you know, so I couldn't find any good resume of what I'm thinking, better than this:-)

victoria said...

Write. Write. There are 31 followers on this blog alone who believe in you and your talent to write :)

Xylia said...

Ah Jenn, I'm 57 years old and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. You ARE a writer, so that's what you're entitled to call yourself. Claim it, it's yours!

Maine-y-ac said...

I agree with Xylia. I too am still trying to decide what to be when I grow up -- I'm 58! You have a talent and a gift so just go for it in whatever form it happens.

Bridgete said...

Okay, you know I love the career path I'm on. I really do. But let me tell you a secret. Well not so much a secret anymore since it's publicly going in a comment on a blog, but anyway, here goes.

I wanted to be a musician. Singer/songwriter. That was why I started out as a music major in college before I got a bit frustrated by some hangups and music major politics (yes, politics are everywhere...) and I switched to sociology. It was a good switch, I'm always happier when my brain is active...but I still wonder what might have happened if I'd stayed with it instead of letting the hangups stop me.

So, I guess my point is, don't let the hangups stop you. Even if you were to stumble upon something else that you love, you may still occasionally wonder what might have happened had you taken the other path.

Oh, and you're a wonderful writer and I really think you could go places with it. Just remember, J.K. Rowling used to be a poor, single mom until she jotted down the idea for Harry Potter on a napkin...

High Desert Diva said...

I've never figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

Do we have to?

seriouslyhappy said...

Hi Jenn,
I agree with some of the other comments. If you want to a writer, you first have to define yourself as such. Once I defined myself as a writer, I actually started to write regularly, because what do writers do? They write!
In case you've never heard of it, a great book on creativity is cameron's The artist way.

Chris Stone said...

Jenn, you are a writer. If you are having difficulty with completion... try the genres. like mystery? that's heavy on plot. It could be fun. I think writing a romance would be a blast too.

and "lame life of football watching"? hey, lame is good!