I know that as long as I don't slack off, being free from PULP will be even better for me in the long run -- it was a dead-end job, with little room for advancement and lots of opportunites for being annoyed on a daily basis -- but for most of yesterday, it was really hard to convince myself of that. One of the problems I had before was that I was always writing an article here and a review there for various publications, and not only was a huge chunk of my pitiful freelance earnings used up just commuting from one office to another to collect checks, I never felt that it was all adding up to anything. Whether consciously or not, I had gotten tired of scattering my efforts, not really focusing on one thing.
Of course, looking back at two years of working for PULP, I wonder what the hell that adds up to anyway. I had the strange notion that over time, I could help make it into the kind of magazine that I would have bought on a regular basis even if I didn't write for it. By that standard, I failed. When the editor-in-chief himself doesn't seem to care whether or not the writing in his magazine is any good, it's pretty hard to come up with a publication to be proud of. Of course, the Reviews section is always solid (hi, Kristine), and I'm pretty happy with most of the stuff I wrote over those two years, but overall, PULP is still... well, PULP.
So anyway, last night, I started digging through old Word files for inspiration. Found an e-mail I sent to a friend in August 2001. Was amused, mostly because of the job opportunity mentioned. I cut-and-paste it here in its entirety:
There are days when I sit in front of this PC for so long that I think the UV rays must be transfoming me into something, either a superhero for the 21st century or a giant rampaging lizard that will lay waste to the cityscape. I'm hoping it's the latter. I don't think I have the resolve or the moral compass to be a superhero.
Sorry I wasn't able to contact you earlier. Things got rather hectic during the second half of last week -- or at least as hectic as they get in my life, which, by your standards, would probably be equivalent to a vacation. On a beach. With little umbrella drinks.
Anyway! I have just been informed of a job opening in Makati, at the Filipinas Heritage Library. It's a full-time gig, with Mondays off (but Saturdays on), and the work has something to do with books, so I guess it'll be more palatable to me than advertising. On the other hand, the thought of regular, full-time work raises the hackles on my neck, and I don't even know what hackles are. Seriously, I've grown to love the freedom that comes with freelancing (not to mention hate the regular commuting that comes with a steady job).
The way I see it, either I apply for the job and maybe get it, in which case my free time gets drastically reduced but then my bank account starts to look less anorexic, or I don't apply, and try to find even more freelance writing jobs than I'm handling now. Or I could start work on that novel I've been thinking about, or any number of writing projects that have been bouncing around in my skull.
I know, I know. I have no real problems. Employment and a salary on the one hand, and freedom and some money on the other. Poor me. Still, since I just turned 27, I have (reluctantly) started thinking about the long-term stuff -- someday acquiring property, providing for a family maybe, that kind of thing. Learning how to drive and owning a car, for God's sake. Sometimes I really envy people like you and Nats -- people with definite careers, who have earned respect, responsibilities, promotions. Of course, it is nice to be able to wake up at noon on a weekday, but if I'm still doing that when I'm forty...
Well, enough of that. In other news, I was nominated for a National Book Award. Just found out last night. :) Things like that make me think I should just concentrate on the writing, but hell, it doesn't pay enough. Or at all, in some cases.
Anyway, hope you're okay. Do write back when you can --
So here it is four years later, and I've got that freelance freedom back. I can do anything I want, and after I fulfill my March writing obligations to PULP, I never have to write for it again, nor am I inclined to. Except that I just realized last Saturday, after watching the gig at 70s and interviewing Kiko Machine, that I'd still like to write about music somehow, and not just in this blog. I'll figure something out.
As Margie texted me yesterday, "You're going to put your energies into new, strange places and your brain will grow in weird and wonderful ways." Here's hoping.
PS. Oh, and by the way...
Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey. Thanks to Lala G. for the link :)