Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I Am Working

I didn't stay in bed all day like I planned. I got up, took a shower, brushed my teeth...well, you get the picture. Now I'm sitting here writing. I'm supposed to be writing book stuff, but instead I am writing this blog while I listen to Billy Bragg and Wilco doing 'California Stars'.

Being creative for a living is a blessing, but sometimes - like today - I look at the guy sitting next to me and wish I was the one holding a little box of tools, that I went from job to job, fixing things, having a finite time to my work, so that when I was done for the day, I was done.

I am never done. I am always at work.

I used to feel terribly guilty whenever I goofed off - I SHOULD BE WORKING! - but this has subsided some as I've gotten older and realized that work is not everything. Work does not define me (yes, it does) and it's okay to have a life (no, it's not).

You can't write things, act things, make things...if all you do is work. You have to experience life. You have to laugh like an idiot, you have to sob like your soul is pouring out your eyes, you have to listen to the silence and revel in the noise...all of this is integral to creating.

I forget this sometimes. I get caught up in the work.

Alcohol (in moderation), good friends, food, music, movies, books...these are the things that remind me work is not everything. Life is fleeting. It is here and then gone so quickly we are idiots if we don't enjoy at least a little bit of it.

Tomorrow I will think about staying in bed all day. I will maybe luxuriate in being under my brown comforter that leaks feathers. I will maybe stay in my PJ's until it gets dark outside.

Today I am working. I swear it.

I am working.


  1. Life? What life?
    Never heard of such thing.

  2. I am with you. Well not actually with you with cause that would be odd. And hard to do from Chicago.

    I have a project I am working on now too. My editor just emailed me and asked where it was. Uh...Facebook ate it. Or it ate my time. Same thing.

  3. You're absolutely right (about what's important). It took me far too long to realize that I had been been following the "you are what you do" philosophy, to the detriment of every other aspect of my life. I didn't care abut $$, just what I had accomplished according to my own twisted priorities, usually in isolation. Over the past few years I found that the thing that made me happiest was working with a group of people that I like, and just enjoying being with them.

    Enuf about me. From what I've observed - which admittedly is limited - you seem to be motivated and industrious beyond... I dunno, you're like Batman (in the comics, not the movies). You're writing books, comics, and scripts; you're selling swag to finance films you're directing; you're acting; you're meeting zillions of fans; and so on. (Batman you see, had to learn the hard & soft sciences, and build himself jet cars with fins, and practice standing on ledges) Your body of work dwarfs that of most people, plus you're awfully cute and non-crazy. A big part of why people like me (who seem crazy but aren't) follow you is because we're impressed by what you do, _and_ how cool and funny you seem to be.

    That being said, if you feel like you want to spend more time with your friends, or just hanging, do it! I don't see you ending up an E True Hollywood Story (do they still have those?). Fill your time and your head with fun, stupid stuff. Even little interactions with people and seemingly trivial experiences result in introspection and memories and mushy feelings. XXOO

  4. from the land of "I write books and produce videos 7 days a week," I hear ya!

    Joel AKA The Daily Guru

  5. that is so true and sometimes it is ok to give yourself a day off

  6. There is a lot of truth to the saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Never met this "Jack", his life must suck though...but the reverse is true too. All play and no work, though fun, eventually leads to losing the job, then not having the money for the fun. Then you find yourself robbing banks for a living running from the cops and dying in a massive shootout and going down in a blaze of glory. Okay I admit I've seen way too many movies, but you get what I mean right? Right? Please say you get it so you can explain it to me. I don't know what goes on in this head of mine. (I scare myself sometimes)

  7. Work is great, no doubt about it. But it's worth remembering that the Soul needs the renewed energy from a good old rest. Get a load done, then sleep till 10 am, remind yourself to buy a new comforter (one that doesn't leak feathers' and have a bottle of beer or a glass of wine.

  8. And the guy with the box of tools is probably thinking "I wish I didn't have to go from job to job and could set my own schedule. I'm fed up of my boss calling me every half hour to shout at me about why I'm not at my next job yet. I'm only supposed to have 4 jobs a day, I've got 7 today. Going to be another late finish." Grass is always greener on the other side.

  9. I *like* to work ... when I'm writing. Too bad about my day job.

  10. Hi Amber! I really like this:

    "You can't write things, act things, make things...if all you do is work. You have to experience life. You have to laugh like an idiot, you have to sob like your soul is pouring out your eyes, you have to listen to the silence and revel in the noise...all of this is integral to creating."

    I really love reading your blogs. You have no idea how much you inspire me. Sometimes there really are some little things (sometimes even obvious and common sense) that we tend to forget. And it helps to be reminded by others. Thank you for that!

  11. Those are true words of wisdom. I have that same issue of working too hard. I take on too many responsibilities and get spread too thin . . . And then I burn out lol. Taking days off is extremely important, and I think it's great for you to remind everyone of that :)

  12. Thank you for the reminder. No more guilt trips on myself. I think.