22 September 2010

"Not all of us were sent here to work." -- Eileen Myles.

I had about five ideas for the name of this blog, and forgot them all when it really came time to choose one. (I'm constantly thinking of band names too, even though my band is, I think, adequately named. Last night at practice we came up with Quad Attack and The Lord Fuck, among a couple other good ones I can't remember. Just things that arose out of conversation. I want to save every funny phrase and give it a home somewhere; I'm like Adam naming the animals in reverse, inventing new creatures just to have something to call out to. Wallace Stevens filled notebooks with possible titles for poems, which you can tell by the names he chose for the ones that actually got written.)

It's a spur-of-the-moment title. But as I am approaching, with dread, another job-seeking phase of my life, when I will have to spend hours writing cover letters and tinkering with my resume and "marketing" myself, the idea of having a space where I can let all my latent unemployability hang out appeals to me. In these days when establishing an online presence means throwing up giant billboards for yourself in every possible venue, I am making an anti-advertisement. Not for sale. Just for sharing.

It's not that I'm a terrible worker. When I have a job I like, I'm great at it. I learn fast and work fast, though, so I often end up having extra time in my day. And if I get bored with a job, I'll start looking for ways to spread that extra time around rather than ending up with a big chunk of it at the end of the afternoon. Slacking off creeps into my daily routine and begins to take over. Eventually I can't remember what it was like to just straightforwardly accomplish one task after another.

I'm lazy in other areas of my life, too. The floor goes unswept, the dishes pile up. Homework gets put off until the evening before it's due. Meanwhile I'm sitting around reading, playing guitar, avoiding leaving my girlfriend's house even though we both should get on with our lives. When you're in love it feels like you're really getting things done. You're spending your time on something so patently worthwhile -- everyone accepts love as a major life goal, right? Then it's 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon and you haven't done anything all day but lounge around in bed and prepare a giant brunch and do the crossword.

But laziness grows out of fear as well. If you never act on your ambitions you can never be rejected. The discovery of all your talent is left up to the rest of the world, and if they don't find you, well, it's their tough luck. This is a genuinely terrible and insidious attitude to take, and I feel that way all the time. So this blog is both an acknowledgment of my unfitness for serious work and an attempt to counteract it. Maybe I can use my tendency to slack off at work as a model for better things: if I can introduce enough writing into my routine, it will come to seem natural, like it's all I was ever supposed to be doing.

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