Maybe I just missed the work ethic rally as a kid, but when did the misconstrued idea come about that a person should enjoy his or her job?
Now let me be clear. So out comes the Mr. Clean & Shine. I’m talking about those jobs that supplement a writer’s life the way an appetizer gets the taste buds excited. Those jobs that play the role of butler to the lord of the manor.
I think back to the coal-black, ancestral roots of my nation. I’m talking about Welsh miners who descended into the bowels of the earth to make a living wage. I can’t imagine any of them loved the work, but they did it because, okay, yes, they had no other choice, but they also did it to stand up to life, face it square on and not let life break them into just more fuel for the fire.
It can be argued now, by any high-school debater, that contemporary culture gives us more choices, it is a meritocracy for the highly mobile and deliciously ambitious. It’s a fast-attainment paradise for anyone who can sprint or text or surf the Web. In fact, none of us really need rouse from our endless-possibility stupor because there is a vista of opportunity and personal flexibility just seeping out like jam from the daily bread of life.
That’s fine if you can work it. Some of us just can’t be complicit in this restless activity of work that hides a paralysis of imagination. Maybe because we either have a radical vision which is at odds with society’s great expectations of the citizen or else we are damaged in some way and just don’t fit into a bland consensual culture.
I know what I love. But right now I must exist as an amphibian until I can learn to entirely breath the thing I love: writing.
Basically, what this says about me is that I can only be faithful to my true love. I have a monogamous nature. I’m not interested in extra-marital affairs of the working kind.
So the work I have to do, is, well, simply the work I have to do. It’s manual labour of the finest kind, of course, but it’s still the heavy lifting before the sitting for the rest of eternity in a chair and writing.
So, I ain’t about to be noncommittal, honey!
And I certainly don’t have to enjoy all this screwing around while I court my beloved. It’s just part of the job after all.