OK, I need to make this fast
“He started keeping a journal—had been, in fact, secretly doing so for some time: the furtive act of a deranged person.” —Philip K. Dick
I’m a freelance writer. With clients. Not enough clients, sometimes, but sometimes even one will do. Sometimes one can be more than enough. I’ve also got a significant other. It’s impossible for me to describe how significant. And as for “other,” well…she’s not me. So she must be other. And that’s also more than enough.
Here’s the thing: I love social media and blogging. But these pursuits have the unfortunate characteristic of being public while simultaneously providing very little, if any, income. So clients (and others) can see what I’m doing. They can read this post, for example, and do the math: This probably took at least 45 minutes. And a Facebook post: maybe 5 minutes depending on complexity. And a tweet, well, we’ll assume that took only 30 seconds; but the thought that went into it? The time required to read or view whatever he’s tweeting about? Who knows! Hours! He may have spent hours on this one tweet!
So making deadlines and garnering income become a relatively public and deducible matter of time. Just where is he spending his time?
For a freelancer with a good work ethic, a tendency therefore may arise to feel guilty about some things that many others take for granted. For example, anything involving pleasure or relaxing. You know you have this problem if you embark on an activity and are immediately gripped by any aspect of the dictionary definition of furtive. If you feel furtive about something, you either shouldn’t be doing it or need to redefine your feelings toward it.
I have no idea how to redefine feelings, but it’s certainly easy to write the words down. If for some reason I wanted actually to follow up on redefining feelings, I’d probably start with a Google search. A third alternative occurs to me, and that is to adopt recreations that are less public. It seems to me that furtiveness is probably directly proportional to the likelihood of getting caught.
A fourth option presents itself, but seems vaguely sociopathic: not to give a crap. Or, if you’d like, to feign giving a crap while in reality not really giving a crap. At times—so I’ve heard, and I’m not proud of being able to provide this link—it’s necessary to fight for your right to party. There equally comes a time when you should be allowed to sit there and stare and look for all the world like you’re doing nothing. And, in fact, that’s exactly what you might be doing. Or not doing. It’s no one’s business but your own.
So strive for the wherewithal to goof off decidedly unfurtively. That’s what freedom is all about.
Posted on May 24, 2016, in Autobiographical, career advice, careers, Cultural observations, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, goals, happiness, human development, Internet, Living, mental health, Opinion, self help, Writing and tagged consulting, free time, freelancing, Philip K. Dick, pleasure, recreation, relaxing, work. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.