Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The greener grass

As I've expressed before, my job isn't particularly challenging. I don't have a whole lot to do, and the projects I'm assigned to do bore me. I'm writing (marketing materials), but not in the capacity I want to be writing (articles, columns, essays, books). My chief complaint isn't lack of time to write, but rather, lack of inspiration, energy, drive. Boredom breeds lethargy. Cubicles breed hopelessness. And so on.

A friend of mine, however, has the opposite problem. She, too, graduated from a MFA program last December. She found a job that allows her to write, and constantly. She gets paid to craft fun, creative short pieces about pop culture, TV, and politics. Unfortunately, her employers under-appreciate and under-value her work. The results? Long hours, constant criticism, and an environment that she describes as "toxic." Working 12 hours a day in a toxic environment doesn't leave her with much time for her own writing, let alone a social life. She enjoys the work, she says, but wonders if the job is worth it.

When we compare notes at the end of a long week, I can't help but wonder which one of us is worse/better off. Would I rather be too busy in a job that more closely resembles the career I envision for myself, or not busy enough in a job that allows me the time to write (if only I could motivate myself)? Which type of job would better serve my (our) writing?


1 comment:

Jill said...

I think the danger in having a job which involves so much writing, but you're not happy, is that writing itself may become the enemy. At least if you're stuck in cubicle servitude, you can look forward to writing as a kind of escape or reward or creative outlet (if you can find some of that magical motivation).