Sunday, July 5, 2009

Work is hard

The second half of this year is going to mean hard work.
I’m trying to change everything about how I go about doing things. What has been comfortable hasn’t worked. I’m looking to rise above what I’ve done before.
Mostly what I’m looking for is freedom. My ultimate goal is to become independent in every way.
This will mean a change in work ethic.
It’s not that I don’t like work, it’s really that I just don’t like to be pushed very hard. I only really like to do the pushing myself. I’m the kind of person who shuts down when pushed too hard. However, if I get on a tangent myself it’s hard to turn me off.
Getting excited about something is really the main piece I’m missing.
It has mostly been the freaking out I’ve done over the future of the printed word that has stopped me from producing anything. It seems like when people see a problem that big, they often just power down. Why confront a conundrum so immense that it won’t matter what you do anyway?
I’ve heard of plenty of fine writers being a left behind or abused by their cash-strapped parent organizations:
- I read that some of the winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for journalism had been laid off in between the publication of the entries and the announcement of the selections.
- A journalist who had been shot at a city council meeting and survived was laid off by his newspaper.
- Even the guy who wrote the successful blog “The Recession Diaries” for the Chicago Tribune got laid off? I mean if that guy can’t keep a job when he’s writing about the most important issue facing most people today I don’t know what to do.
The answer, I think, is to double my efforts.
The fact that everything the industry has known before is crashing around us means those who want to survive to the next round of play have to work twice as hard and force their game into a new level.
One of the smartest things I’ve heard said recently was a Wayne Gretzky quote by way of writer/director Kevin Smith: “Be where the puck is going to be, not where it is.”
I really like that. It’s what I’m striving for coming up. I was just reading in the New York Times today about these two guys who started a textbook rental company called chegg.com. It works like Netflix but for college texts.
It’s so obvious I can’t believe someone, even me, hadn't thought of this before. Everyone complains about how much textbooks cost for school. It’s just that one idea no one else has, but perfectly fills a void everyone on some level knew was there.
I have to start viewing doing work for myself as a second full time job. I have to give myself the attention I deserve to actually do the things I have to do to be successful. I have to treat this writing thing like it’s another thing on my list for the day. It’s not a burden to try to create unless you think of it that way.
Like AC/DC say, "it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll."
Even the most successful writers making it look like they lay back and do nothing all day, are obviously working hard. You wouldn’t hear anything about them if they weren’t.

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