Being Unemployed Is Hard Work
I’m not unemployed.
It’s not true.
In fact I’m constantly employed.
I write. I make music. I run two bands.
I do historical research and take courses in marketing.
I maintain a website. I blog. I soak up every snippet of information on writing that I can find.
I am a sponge.
(of a person) without a paid job but available to work.
Unemployed actually means that you are without paid work.
Ok, so then on paper I am unemployed. Everything I do either costs me money or doesn’t earn anything, I am not being paid.
However, it also means to be without a gainful occupation.
I am creating. That’s an occupation.
I am doing what I am meant to do. I consider that gainful.
I don’t want to be employed,
I want to be useful.
I want to give something to the world. I am going against all the ideals of western civilisation.
I don’t want to be a consumer, which is the main drive to earn money. I want to be the one who makes things and not necessarily for financial gain.
This is the big problem.
In modern society you need money. This is how we exchange goods. Even if I don’t view myself as a consumer, I am. I need to eat. I need a roof over my head. I need warmth and protection from the elements.
These are not things which I wish to invest time in creating myself. Therefore I have to pay for them.
This in turn means that I have to earn money.
Gone are the days when an exchange of goods was all that was required.
Back then I could have composed a song for someone, or penned a story. I could have entertained. I could have been a true troubadour.
I would have earned food and board in exchange for my gifts.
The creations would have been more personal. Tailored for the individual. Unlike the way things work now.
Everything revolves around mass marketing. There is no longer the one-on-one relationship between the creator and the recipient.
Or is there?
I have recently completed my first novel. I have given it to readers.
I have had that personal contact with the people I entertain.
They have responded. I feel I have enriched lives.
People have taken something away with them.
I have also inspired people.
Yesterday I spoke to a friend.
She is a woman of letters — literally. She used to write all the time.
She was good at it. She wrote the most wonderful letters before email undermined the postal service.
In some way she helped me become a better writer.
She used to practice my spelling with me, that much I remember. I recall having a lot of problems with the word necessary. I never knew for sure how many ‘Cs’ and how many ‘Ss’ to use.
Yesterday I told her that I was publishing my novel.
She then told me that she had always wanted to write children books. I said that she should do it.
She said, “It’s too late.”
It’s never too late to start.
Are you afraid that you won’t get it finished because of your age?
Who says that you have to finish? That’s like saying that the work you do has to be paid.
Who made up that stupid rule?
I think if she embraced her creativity she would achieve some sort of fulfilment in life. If she started she would create something wonderful. I think she should do it.
I hope I planted a seed.
I hope she thinks about it.
I hope she does it.
That still doesn’t solve my unemployment problem. The paid part.
I will find a way.
I just have to try everything I know. I have to stay true to my creative calling.
I have started and will not stop, maybe that’s what my friend is most afraid of. That she will begin something she won’t be able to stop.
I started and I’m not stopping. I know that if I keep at it then eventually it will pay off. Then I will be officially employed.
I will not only be doing something which I am good at, but also something which makes a contribution to the world.
Now, that’s a job!
My first novel, Loreless, has been independently published.
Go get it here, I’m am no longer unemployed.
Are you struggling with creativity and employment?
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