Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Work With A Capital W

Only yesterday I was thinking that, should no other project fall out of the sky, I’d go back to being even more skint than I already am and, lo and behold, here is the answer to my worries and my little faith, if I can call it such: as I was sitting glassy-eyed and preoccupied, cradling the Starbee I managed to buy with the last £ 2 in my purse, a flurry of emails flash up on screen and a string of attachments reveal plays, pictures, short stories, essays and another book to work on. I am, again, saved.

This time though, we are not just talking about two books to edit; there are plays to formalise in style, essays with references to sort out, images to identify and another book that has been described as ‘the most miserable hellish experience ever’. But, surely, it can’t be worse than what I was doing two weeks ago, right? Apparently, yes, and I should perhaps consider myself flattered by the publisher’s belief that he will not feel so awful at the thought of tackling it again once I have intervened. This guy has some great expectations and I’d be damned if I disappoint him.

This unexpected, but prayed for, avalanche of work (paid work, dare I say it) has left me ever so slightly dazed, almost unable to figure out the path ahead. And let’s be clear on this one, I am racking up so many requests and things to be looked into that quite some plotting out will have to be involved. I resist the term plan because, although I am a planner by nature and birth (an anal Virgo), planning doesn’t go hand-in-hand with creative individuals. I am not over-stating when I tell you that 50,000 words of my PhD (that is, three quarters of it) were written off the cuff, not really knowing what I wanted to say, why or indeed how I was going to say it.

The outstanding thing is that three-quarters of this PhD were written in one-tenth of the time since the my registration so... that’s quite telling. By contrast, while working in ‘management’, whatever that is, we spent all of our time planning what we would do and doing very little of what was on the plan. Once I was asked to draft a plan on how to update the revised plan in order to get back in line with the original plan. Do you know how that one ended? With the client getting pissed off and scrapping the project, quelle surprise. That’s why I like to plan the very bare minimum and then I prefer to get on with it.

Much else lies ahead. The course I’ve been taking is spear-heading towards completion, many ideas have originated and two are already hatching as I type. I’ve met a great group of people that are not just friends but actual important resources and that I am sure will help me in the process of formalisation of those ideas I speak of. It all takes time and now I need to re-group, mentally but especially emotionally, and figure out what ground-work is necessary. But I’ll tell you what I really need to come to terms with: being finally able to work by myself and for myself. I’ve wanted this for a very long time and now that it is happening, and now that the work I am doing is intellectually rewarding and is what I always wanted to do, I am so fucking drained I almost do not feel like celebrating. But that has got to change because from now on I am going to be happy.
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