June 16, 2012

"I used to love blogging. I ate it, drank it, and slept on it at night."

"Then I became a consultant and professional blogger, earning a living giving advice and blogging for others.... Now I hardly blog at all. I returned to what I intended to do in the first place, before I’d ever heard of blogs: freelance writing."

Writes La Shawn Barber, who'd just run across an interview she did back in 2006, when she loved blogging. "Nothing profound. It just brought back memories."

From the old interview: "The more you blog, the more you love it, the more you have to say.... You need to blog because you like, or love, to do it."

The things that we do for love — and truly love — may be things we wouldn't love at all if it were paid work. Sex is an obvious example of that sort of thing. Here's a great old blog post by Penelope Trunk: "Bad career advice: Do what you love."
I am a writer, but I love sex more than I love writing. And I am not getting paid for sex. In fact, as you might imagine, my sex life is really tanking right now. But I don’t sit up at night thinking, should I do writing or sex? Because career decisions are not decisions about “what do I love most?” Career decisions are about what kind of life do I want to set up for myself?...

If you are lost, and lonely, and wondering how you’ll ever find your way in this world. Take a job. Any job. Because structure, and regular contact with regular people, and a method of contributing to a larger group are all things that help us recalibrate ourselves....

17 comments:

Carol said...

"The things that we do for love — and truly love — may be things we would love at all if it were paid work."

I think you left out a word. I play music as an avocation but when it was all I did for a living, it became almost unbearable.

Pete said...

Most of us don't get to earn a good living doing what we love and so it looks attractive.

Then again, Althouse, you're reading Bradbury's Zen and the Art of Writing. There's someone who was paid quite well to do the thing he loved. He claims to have written every day and I can't find where he wrote or said a word of complaint about doing it. The man loved to write and it showed.

No, I'd like to be paid well to do the thing I love. I don't think I'd grow tired of it.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think you left out a word"

An "n't"... Thanks.

ricpic said...

"I am a writer, but I love sex more than I love writing."

Translation: she's not a writer.

wyo sis said...

I became a librarian because I love to read. I became a school librarian because I love to teach. I still love those things. The thing that I don't love is paperwork and administration. Unfortunately very few of us get to do only the things we love. Or, maybe it's not so unfortunate. Maybe it's just the way things are. Someone has to do the tedious routine, ugly things and if we all get to do some of those things sometimes we appreciate them more.

The Crack Emcee said...

If you are lost, and lonely, and wondering how you’ll ever find your way in this world. Take a job. Any job. Because structure, and regular contact with regular people, and a method of contributing to a larger group are all things that help us recalibrate ourselves....

What bullshit. You're "lost, and lonely, and wondering how you’ll ever find your way in this world," you want to "recalibrate"? Go see a shrink and leave me the fuck alone. That's the problem in America:

Too many folks with mental problems who won't admit it - and too many cowards who won't tell them - all inflicting themselves on the sane and secure trying to get shit done.

All I think about, when I have a job, is I've got better things to do. I don't like people enough to want to spend 8 hours a day with them (I worked 15.5 yesterday) and the encounter group bullshit this woman is pushing is exactly why.

What's so difficult for these fucking hippies to understand? If you have mental problems, you go see a doctor - you don't go to an interview, trying to act normal, hoping for a chance to eventually talk to me because I ain't got time for you. I've got my own problems and most of them revolve around never being able to escape you sorry bitches.

There's nothing "regular" about me, I stand out in any "larger group" I'm in, and all that means is I'm a target - either for those who are intimidated by me or those who want my "help." But, since I'm not allowed to kill my self-selected enemies, and I'm not allowed to tell the sick where to go, I've been driven from working in an office setting to one where my only contact with "regular" people is by cell phone, and that's about as much "of contributing to a larger group" as I can stand.

Just hand me some responsibility, and a paycheck, and I'll get 'er done - alone,...

AllieOop said...

I started out loving my career as a nurse. People in high stress jobs, dealing with human beings at their worst, can quickly replace love of profession to toleration, to dislike , then on to outright hate.

The human beings at their worst weren't the patients, they were the administration.

I had to go back and do volunteer work to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

deborah said...

lol Crack. You completely read your own problems into that paragraph. Trunk is talking about getting your mind off yourself and operating responsibly in the real world. So now you're sequestered from people, but come here to rant about how enlightened you are.

Jay said...

Writes La Shawn Barber

Who?

Pete said...

Jay, I believe La Shawn Barber is a longtime friend of Ann's. Used to quote her quite a bit, back in the day.

edutcher said...

Bottom line:

You start to hate it when you have to do it too many times, rather than wanting to do it.

May this never happen to the likes of Insta, Boortz, Crack, and, of course, Miss Ann.

pm317 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

What so many of these people are really in love with is navel gazing; what makes them "writers" is the temerity to expect to be paid for it.

Miss Emily said...

I've been pseudo-blogging inside a forum I helped found for two years. The first post "Miss Emily has died" was "what happened and then what happened next" when my young wife suddenly died without warning. I started "Letters to Miss Emliy..." later- partly as therapy. I write there to this day and it's become more day to day living. I do it because I like doing it, and kept both inside the forum because they get more traffic that way. But even if no one read them, I would do it as long as I liked doing it.

The Crack Emcee said...

deborah,

lol Crack. You completely read your own problems into that paragraph. Trunk is talking about getting your mind off yourself and operating responsibly in the real world.

What's it matter? Don't do it around me. My mind's right already.

So now you're sequestered from people, but come here to rant about how enlightened you are.

*Sigh* You just don't get it, do you? One guy nick-named me "Conspiracy Theory"...because he "caught" me listening to NPR's Science Friday.

Satisfied?

deborah said...

I get it, Crack. I rethought my post, thinking that L.A. is crazy and you put up with a lot.

Recently I'm around my family a lot more than usual, and find the drama/gossip stuff annoying, and as part of my loner mentality, illogical :)

Last night I was at a family gathering where my mom's aunt was back in town from California for a
visit. She's 87, and the last time she was back was 12 years ago. She and two surviving siblings (in nursing homes and not that with-it), all three childless, now have a passel of nieces and nephews, in their 60s and 70s, whose parents are all dead. Life is strange. As we sat there, I wondered how she felt surrounded by strange grand-nieces and grand-grand nieces and her siblings' children. I felt the separateness of us all, and how we float back together in time. And I thought of you, and how you've grown up without family. We must all hang together, or we will surely hang separately, eh?

Joe said...

Penelope Trunk was interesting until it became apparent that she was completely off her rocker.