Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do What You Like

They say you should do what you like. It's not a writing specific guideline, like "write what you know" (which like all such writing guidelines is a little vague, a little misleading, and yet still at times dead-on). It's a job mantra, the one everyone tells you to follow. Do what you like to do, have a job that you enjoy going to - at least in principle - and don't worry about the money. I can interject here that this is a cultural, as in other parts of the world the attitude is clearly "worry about the money." But I didn't grow up there, and so I don't share the attitude that how much money I make determines my happiness.

Though it would be nice to be rich and dismissive of that rather than poor and dismissive.

Anyway, I have tried for the most part to follow that advice. Hence I've never (yet) worked in fast food. One of my most enjoyable jobs was the least clean, back when I worked as a dishwasher, but the work there had a certain satisfaction to it when everything was clean which appealed to my own sensibilities. Also helped that the people were good to work with and I was fed very, very well. Certainly better fare than the orange meatloaf they tried to pass off on us one night in the Commons.

In attempting to follow this advice I have looked for work as a writer. This is in addition to the other work I look for which suits my other interests and skills. For the most part it has been somewhat successful, especially as I've had a late start at it. It's not making me rich, as I never expected it to, but it has provided supplemental income. Which lately has been all my income. However, in writing for money I am sometimes forced to take on those topics in which I have no interest in. They are, in other words, nothing I like. And yet... I need to get paid.

Sometimes it's mostly a question of just generating the enthusiasm for a topic, because I have a diverse enough interests and an undying sense of curiosity, so almost anything will eventually interest me if I take the time to get into it. But it's acquiring that motivation to get interested that can be rather difficult. (Which I think is another blog entry somewhere down the line.)

If I could find someone to pay me to write reviews of movies, books, food, locations (and pay for my expenses) or just humor my opinions for a paycheck, I'd be all set. In the meantime, until the day when the fiction pays me well enough not to have to do anything else, I'm stuck researching the odd and esoteric.

Which is still better than working in fast food.

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