Well...the work is never done.
If you've ever felt the pull of the day job/arts grind, I suggest you read Paul Auster's "Hand to Mouth" for a healthy dose of perspective. Most of this large writ essay on his own money troubles, but he's got a singular voice that's hard to deny. Read Paul Auster's novels, of course; they're far superior and some of the best American writing around. But I keep "Hand to Mouth" at my desk here at my day job for comfort.
Here's why: in the beginning of the book, Auster spells out the "other careers" of famous writers like Don DeLillo, William Carlos Williams and T.S. Eliot (in Advertising, Medicine and Banking respectively.) And it makes any of us who toil in the doldrums to make a New York living a little less hard on ourselves for the toil.
What's strange is that Auster's issues are far less sympathetic. As a man and a writer, I absolutely admire him. As the son of a middle class, relatively comfortable family who actively chooses to struggle with money because of some romantic notion of the "writer's life," the narrative comes off as a bit privileged. There are people in such worse shape than Auster ever find himself in "Hand to Mouth," that sympathy gave way to eye-rolling rather quickly for me.
It can be fairly said though, that my eye-rolling comes from my own honest experience at reading an honest account. I'm sure if someone read a volume of my early years (of course I'm still in them) then I'd warrant a fair amount of eye-rolling as well.
I'm thinking fo this because I current find myself looking for a new job. My position at my day job is being changed to a more senior level (meaning they want to go out and hire someone with more experience than me for more money and replace me with them) so while they did me the favor of giving me two months notice (thanks crew) I am off to the corporate resume cycle again.
So if anyone knows a place for an admin who is pretty good, sadly, at Human Resources...I'd be happy to entertain offers.
All the best!
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.