"I am at a loss to conceive how a man should permit himself to write anything that would be truly disgraceful to a woman, or why a woman should be censured for writing anything that would be proper and becoming for a man."

19 September 2011

L.A. Strangetown

Or: How I learned to start worrying and wonder whether or not this world has any idea who I am...

I'm in the midst of major writer's block. Trying to get the writing brain started after a period of editing is providing soul-crushing levels of difficulty. Part of it is not feeling like I have a good place to write (as in, a physical location conducive to writing). Part of it is exhaustion/my own stupidity. Part of it is having told the writer mind to shut up for so long that it decided to go on an extended vacation and leave me in the arid silence of a wordless desert.
Part of it is a lack of validation for my writing, critically and, to be blunt, financially. I hunt gig postings like a hound for something other than corporate babble, SEO BS, or 'copywriting' (read: do everything related to writing, editing, and publishing our newsletter/blog/magazine/paper without all the benefits and money that go along with it), and find nothing that makes me even want to put together a writing sample. I know my capabilities as a writer. I know I can crank out corporate crap ad nauseum if I'm getting paid for it... I just would really like, for once, to be able to write in my own voice and have people accept that enough to toss a bit of dough my way. And I know anyone who desires writing as a career has these feelings, as do actors, designers, crafters, etc. We all want to put our own little stamp on the world, in our own way. Instead, far too many of us find ourselves trapped in a cubicle, or off on writing assignments which bear no resemblance to our actual interests, or scraping together rent from a myriad of 'creative' gigs -- because we 'chose' this path.
(Note use of quotations. Anyone who accepts and embraces a life in a field which relates to the creative, cultural and/or literary arts should recognize the flaw in stating that those fields were ones we chose of utter free will. Art chooses you. Those of us who know this realize how simple, and painfully dull, life would be if we just settled for accounting...)

Thus, I hold this inward struggle to attempt writing without foreseeable profit. It's need which drives me, and right now the need is not enough because even that itching in my fingers, that throbbing in my head, cannot coerce me into actual creation of material.

Then, the universe comes along in all its mighty cock-uppery and says, "Hey, you need money from a creative endeavor? We can totally give that to you. As an 'actor.'"
Granted, my ass is sore with getting itself kicked in the financial rear so much the past, well, always. Ergo, there's No.Way. I'm turning the opportunity (read: money) down. Yet is it so much to ask that I get a little cash for an endeavor I really care about? I have dozens of actor friends, many of whom would probably kick me for a) getting this opportunity and b) rail me for hours on how unfair this business is when they can't get work doing what they want, and I have the gall to be selected for something I only auditioned for to help out a friend. (Though I'd be willing to bet if they were thrown a desirable, for me, writing gig for this kind of money they'd take it.)

I'm happy about the gig. It'll be fun times with friends doing silly work for awesome money. I'd just feel like less of a tool if my writing garnered me similar work.

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