Writer, In the Cult of Done

I work in an office, so there’s pretty much an unending tsunami of paperwork. The only difference between my office and any other office in the country is that we’re dealing with SAG and teamsters, and occasionally someone famous wanders around the office wondering where when a PA is going to get them some coffee. As you can imagine, there are very few opportunities for creativity, professionally speaking, for someone in my position. On a daily basis, the most creative portion of the day may be picking what’s for lunch, and thinking of a particularly witty quip to say to your boss (ass-kissing).

Lately, I’ve been tasked with some SAG paperwork that requires me to write a short paragraph justifying why we used non-union members for certain things, like stunts for example. In these paragraphs, I write usually about 100 words, maybe 250 at absolute max. It feels like writing press for these non-union stuntees, but I’ve been complimented on my ability to write up a paragraph. My boss was so impressed that she chuckled at what I produced and pointed out that she was highly satisfied with my scribbles. Today, I wrote up a craigslist ad. Again, she complimented me in my writing skillz, especially noting my succintness (let’s not forget Strunk & White – “Be brief” – also, slightly more poetical, and therefore less brief, the Bard – “Brevity is the soul of wit”). In fact, as she pondered how much she liked my ad, she mused aloud, “You’re a writer aren’t you?”

She said it almost surprised, as if coming to a sudden realization. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned to her that writing is my endgame, so for her to say that sent my brain in immediate over-analysis mode. Assuming that she is not a complete ninny, which I think is a good assumption, my obsessive examination of her statement has led me to two conclusions – 1) It was a nice way of saying I can be … overly eloquent? Ok, tryingly obscure and wordy. Or, the much preferable 2) I really  might have a certain something when I write anything that betrays me for a writer. I want to believe this one, but it seems a little too shiny.

Also, I hardly feel like a writer these days. I have no compunction about blaming my lack of writing on my current job – working 12 hour days is draining, regardless of what you’re doing, and when you add about an hour and a half of commute time, that really leaves only a couple of hours of free time before it’s time to hit the sack and prepare for the next round. And that television certainly isn’t going to watch itself. So, I think my excuse is valid. But I still feel guilty for having an excuse at all. I have too many projects sitting in files that, were they not digital representations of packets of data rather than actual  physical folders containing files, would be gathering copious amounts of dust as they sit unfinished and untouched. I’m going to plaster the Cult of Done Manifestos all about my workspace when I finally have a chance to set it all up.

In the meantime, I’m going to hope that things like my boss accepting a craigslist ad as evidence of my writerly potential as the kick in the ass to get me back onto the path of enlightenment. Also, start learning this as a mantra.

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