Am I, in actual fact, just a freeloading hippie who only thinks the things I think, does the things I do, because I don’t have a paying job? I feel very much like I don’t have a right to claim hard work. I don’t work in a shop or a bar. I don’t get a paycheck. I’ve never in my life had a work roster or been a part of a tedious schedule. So how can I know if I’m working hard? I’ve got nothing to compare it to.
I keep telling myself, “Oh rad, you made your word count and answered all those emails…now how about you get a job? Huh? Let’s see how your extracurricular hard work goes then!”
Two speeches: Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art and Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking (their child is gonna be fucking awesome at speech giving). In Amanda’s speech she explains how cutting it was when other people told her to GET A JOB, the shame that came along with it, and that voice in every creators head that AGREES with them.
In Neil’s speech (yes we are on first name basis) he talks about the Fraud Police, and the feeling you get after you make something successful. Because a lot of the time art comes out of nowhere, out of our heads, and getting rewarded for that can be hard to justify in a world so critical of it.
But really, my point is…it’s all well and good for them to feel/have felt/still feel this way, but they’re super-duper famous now. They earn money. How do you fend off the guilt when you don’t?
I tell myself “I’m a student!” but in less than a year I won’t be. I’ll have to start ticking the little unemployed box instead of the sophisticated, student box. I’ll feel sad instead of scholarly. WHERE THE HELL AM I GONNA GO COME SEPTEMBER?
Really, my dream would be to: get a job in a newsroom, leave my teen years behind having never worked in retail/fast-food/groceries, be awesome, rule the world. Can I do that? Or will I need to know how to pour drinks and fold t-shirts? (And I’m not banging those skills, I feel genuinely ill-equipped.) If I bomb out, I don’t even have general skills to fall back on.
“Yes, I sure can interview, write, and edit a news package in a day! Wait, what? The drinks need to go where?”
My life is that bridge scene in the new Star Wars film, and I am Han Solo. Kylo Ren, you are my inadequate resume.
I’m also Daniel Radcliffe that time he worked as a receptionist for a prank. I’m a tiny artistic child who grew up in a wonderful, privileged, magical world – and graduation is around the corner.
Writing is supposed to calm me down, but I can feel my heartbeat in my hands. Cool.
Game plan: offer up my labor for free – whore myself out to anyone who’ll take an intern (I do NOT like using that word. What’s a better one…hand myself out? I’m sorry, I just wanted to be explicit), hope that all the volunteer work WORKS, cross my fingers and toes. Put up one of those motivational posters to keep me out of The Pit of Despair.