Thursday, July 03, 2008

Holidays: Bah, Humbug

When I had a full time job, I used to look forward to holidays. How nice to go to a movie, read a book, and hang out with friends/family while work was paying you to take the day off and have a good time.

Living the Gainfully Unemployed life has led to a 180. Now, holidays make me kind of cranky. I turn into a Grinchy Scrooge who no longer views holidays as opportunities for fun. They're just days when no one will call for an audition, no one will book me for a job. There won't be any contact with agents/editors. Rehearsals and classes I enjoy and learn from will be canceled. Not only will I not make money, I'll probably spend it. At least some products will be on sale.

The sad part: while I realize and believe that everyone benefits from down time and relaxation to reduce stress and refill the creative well, I don't believe I deserve a day off. Why?

1. I haven't written nearly enough new pages so far this year, partly because I'm not really invested in a new project. Instead of keeping to my 25 new pages a week goal, I've been dabbling. Revisiting this idea, starting that one. I need to come up with an exciting idea ASAP so I can keep to my goal of completing a new book a year.

2. Then there's selling the manuscripts I've already written. Though I have a bunch of submissions out, I should continue to work on TGAH, The Great Agent Hunt. I recently bought an opportunity to submit to a major non-fiction agent from an online charity auction to motivate me to finish a proposal I've been working on for over a year, but still haven't.

3. I need to improve my audio recording and background music composing skills. I've downloaded Acid Express and Acid Music Studio free trials, but haven't been able to figure out a lot of the stuff they can do.

4. Maybe if I'd spent more time on self-marketing, I'd have more bookings. I could contact producers I've worked with before, update my agents on the most recent gigs I've gotten, find new places to submit to. Let more people know about the improv show I'm in.

So you see, I don't deserve a day off because the freelancer's job is never done.

While almost everyone else is celebrating at barbeques and parties and watching fireworks (and sweating and getting sunburned and mosquito bitten and ingesting far more calories than they probably need), I can't seem to help thinking about accomplishing something and being productive. Even if I don't work on any of the aformentioned projects, I could at least clean out my storage closet. Or tackle any of the other items on my To Do list. At least then I could put a big, satisfying checkmark through a task or two I'd been meaning to get around to.

My holiday would be worthwhile.

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