Friday, January 9, 2009

Goodness, Where Have I Been?

Look at how long it's been since I posted. I blame (and praise) the holidays. Here's a secret about the life of a freelancer. We don't get the holidays off, nor weekends, nor any other day that those with normal five day a week jobs get. We're never off duty -- not totally. If we do decide to take a day, or an afternoon, or an hour off, it's always accompanied by the guilt of, "Here's all the things I should be working on right now." That never goes away.
        But there are rewards on an extended set of days like these recent holidays. Though the freelancer might not have any days off, his editors, or art directors, or producers, or whoever is in some office somewhere waiting to receive said freelancer's work, do. They can be counted on to take those days off. So it is like a vacation of sorts -- in that you aren't going to hear from that person for an extended time. During the holidays I enjoyed an extended period of not having to worry about (for example) Shelly Bond, my editor on Fables, calling me and pressuring me to get the next script in. I got to work uninterrupted. Such bliss. And so what did I do? Like every other freelancer in the same situation, I goofed off.
        Here's the dirty little secret I hate even admitting to myself: The editors and such need to keep that pressure on -- they know it and we know it -- or else we'd never get anything done. I didn't entirely goof off, although I did more reading for pleasure and watching the boob tube than I've been able to do in many a month. I also got a lot of writing done. But it was writing on the projects I felt like working on, rather than those I needed to get done. What a joy that is.
        So, what does any of this have to do with why I haven't posted here in so long? Simple. I got distracted. Bigtime. And then, when I realized I hadn't posted in so long, day by day the pressure to remedy that built up to the point that when I finally did come back and post something, it had better be something pretty damned spectacular to justify the long absence. And with each additional day that passed, the new future return post had to be even more incredible and important. And so on.
        Soon enough, so many days sans posting had passed, that there never could be an "I have returned" post glorious enough to make up for my long absence. That, my friends, is when all of the pressure finally drifted away, like the insubstantial vapor it always was, and I realized, since I couldn't possibly measure up to the task, I shouldn't even try. "Don't post anything incredible or vital," I said to myself, "just post something fun."
        And that's why I posted this funny picture of a dog in India attacking some guy's pet monkey. People! If you chose to have a pet monkey, then you should damn well realize the responsibility you've taken on. You are that monkey's guardian protector for all time! Take better care of your pet monkeys!
        There. An important thing that needed to be said.
        More posting about actual subjects pertinent to this blog soon.


Ryan Haupt said...

Looks like the dog is attached to the bike same as the monkey, could have been more of a familial dispute than a full on attack. Maybe the monkey was asking for it around the house...

Anonymous said...

It is a true joy not to have the pressure turned on, and to do as one likes, writing-wise. Speaking of which, I loved your article at Big Hollywood. I hope you're planning on contributing more.

Chris Opperman said...

Welcome back! And that monkey looks so much like Bufkin that I almost spit my soup out.

And here is why I don't write lyrics. I just composed in my head an entire chorale based on the phrase, "There are 200 calories in my soup."

Chrissy Kistler said...

I love the BBC online for news, which is where I first saw that photo. They have the section "Also in the News" which usually has the wackiest stories.