Monday, August 8, 2011

You're FIRED!!

Many of us have this three letter word and some of us have this six letter word. Both provide funds to keep a roof over our heads, our families fed, and on some occasions allow us to travel around and splurge on the non-necessities of life. If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m talking about a job or a career. With the American economy the way it is people are happy just to have one or the other. Not necessarily because it’s enjoyed, but because we NEED it. Not having one would mean trying to compete with others for one position or the mortgage company threatening to take your home. And we can’t have that, can we? So we buckle down, bite the bullet, and pretend that our bosses aren’t insufferable idiots. We put in the time asked of us, hope we can get more time, even take our jobs with us when we go home.
We do it to keep our bosses happy.
We do it for our pay.
We do it so we won’t be fired.
However what of your writing? What if writing were your job? Yeah, it gets easy to tell your friends, writing groups, and random strangers that ‘you would die without writing’ or ‘writing is in your veins’ or ‘I eat, breathe and sleep writing!’ (Come on; admit it you’ve said one of these before…probably even today.) But those are just words. No true action is being put behind it. So why do we do it? To make us look better? Maybe. To fill up conversation time? Possibly. Because most of those people won’t judge you and monitor what you do with your time? Most likely. Still, someone is keeping track and watching what you do. Yup, your muse watches you like a hawk and she is not happy. In fact she is ready to fire your sorry butt at the moment.
So imagine if you will, you walk into one of those offices that reeks of superiority. You know, the dark oak desk with pictures wrapped in frames from stores you can’t pronounce. The walls lined with artwork and photos with those ridiculous statements like DEDICATION or COMMITMENT emblazoned under a boat or a storm. Sitting in a leather office chair, that now has the look of a throne, is a stunning red headed goddess with eyes dressed in ivy. Those eyes behind wire rimmed glasses. (Don’t ask why I envision my muse like that…please don’t ask.)
She beckons you closer and to have a seat in a rather uncomfortable chair which best days were in the 80’s when it was still in the dump. She shuffles the papers in front of her and clears her throat. “Let’s talk about your performance review.”
You get sweaty. Your heart is betting faster. You check the exits and plan your escape like your name is Jason Bourne. She shuffles the papers again and you notice how thick your particular pile is.
She smiles. “Okay, first of all we love having you here.” (Never a good start.) “But we have some discrepancies with your work ethic.” A protest courses up to your lips but you silence it. “You complain about want more ideas and wanting the words to flow better, but all this week when you’ve had free time I found you in front of the TV watching reruns of shows you’ve seen a hundred times.”
You bite your lip to hold back another weak excuse wanting to burst from your lips. The red headed muse speaks again. “Then you raised a complaint about not having enough time in your day and I find you on Facebook, Twitter, and struggling to find your way on Google +.”
“It’s all marketing.” The words seep from your lips before you can stop them.
Those captivating eyes peer over the top of the glasses, staring you down. “Marketing what? You barely devote an hour to this company in an entire week. You’re work in progress has been a work in progress for two years. And yet you still want me to give you a raise of gorgeous words, creative thoughts, and doses of inspiration. Heck, you haven’t even been to a conference lately (reading). How do you expect to progress any further without studying and learning from the one who HAVE progressed to where you want to be?”
She pauses like she’s waiting for an answer from you, but she’s not. She want you to linger in the pool of disappoint she’s left you in. “Consider this a warning {insert name here}. A final warning. If you don’t straighten up I’ll have to let you go. Now quit crying and get back to work.”
Ouch. That was the meeting from hell, huh? Trust me; I had to partake of this post too. As I’m typing Pulp Fiction is running on TV and I want to veg out in front of it right now. But I know if I do Breaking Bad will be on right after, and then True Blood, and the next thing you know I’ll be asleep. No blog post. No other writing done. And my muse will have handed me in a pink slip. So tap, tap, tap away at the keyboard I must. How about you? Are you putting in the time needed to grow your writing? Are you tired of making excuses? Do you want to make your way up the writing ladder? Did your muse give you a warning or a pink slip? Well evaluate your day and see where some fat can be trimmed. Otherwise you may find yourself wondering what happened to that beautiful job you once had…when you used to be a writer.


  1. Damn. I needed to hear that. I didn't want to hear it though. I would be fired if writing were really my nine to five. Ugh. Talk about a wake up call!
    Thanks for this. I'm taking this warning to heart.
    ~Cherri Anderson

  2. This was fabulous, Matt. I laughed all the way through it, and blushed the whole time. It's so true. It felt like you were talking to me. I would be so fired if writing was my job. LOL! I shudder to think how often I use those excuses, how often I do exactly the things you describe! I think every aspiring writer should read this. Really wonderful post.

    Now *secretly shuts off new Planet of the Apes movie playing online* back to my writing. :D.

  3. I do the same things. For shame :( I would so be fired. I agree with above comments. I needed to hear this even if I didn't want to hear it. This was great. Thanks. Sorta :P LOL

  4. Oh my band of ne'er-do-wells or should that be ne'er-do-writes? Hmmm... LOL It definitely hit me first. Word for word was a punch in the nether regions. But if it lit a fire under someone then it was worth it. Now excuse me, I have to ice down after that beating :P



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