Writing to engage
For a writer, unemployment can be a blessing in disguise—or a blatant curse. For me it has been the latter.
I’ve been more or less idle for two months now.
I say more or less because I don’t have the exact figure of idle time, rather than to suggest that I might have been less idle at any point. More accurately speaking, I’ve been as idle as possible for more or less two months now. Not accounting for the countless job applications and short bursts of productivity of course, as time spent on them has been negligible.
Unfortunately, attempting to be industrious in the pursuit of employment doesn’t pay the bills; nor does it sustain the lavish lifestyle of a millennial—one who requires a sizable budget for Uber eats, Uber drives, and Archer drinks.
Fortunately, I am luckier than most to have a room and roof back at home, back in the paradise of Bermuda, where, despite the lack of automated taxicab and food-delivery services, my parents have had the decency not to convert my bedroom into a home gym (yet). Frugality, ever mine enemy, has been thrust upon me by the inescapable economic forces that burden us all. Productivity, something I have occasionally struggled with when left to my own devices, is also an inevitability that I must accept.
So I’m pledging to publish more stuff on Medium.
At best it can provide structure, help me build my portfolio, sharpen the dullness in my wordsmith’s sword, and perhaps even bring in a spare bit of revenue to spend on the essentials that my parents won’t go in for (rum, etc.).
At the very least, it might allow me some sense of meaning and engagement in the world until I am once again formally employed.
The best way to achieve something is to speak it into existence (or so say scores of wannabe successful people).
Since I’m alone most days—staring blankly at my computer screen, into it even, as if the bright backlight might spark some sort of literary epiphany—trying to speak anything into existence doesn’t hold me accountable to anyone (except to myself, who, as I’ve mentioned, isn’t the most accountable lad).
I’m shouting it into existence on Medium.
This way I can be held to account by the kind, compassionate, and endlessly engaging masses of social media.
My goal is five articles* a week.
I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity (a tired cliche—we all are. It’s just the ratio of quality to quantity which we disagree on). But this time I won’t use such a platitude as an excuse for inaction.
Let’s consider five articles per week as a soft target that I’ll reassess after a month of experimentation. More importantly, after the first month I’ll analyze the data and set a realistic engagement target to aim for moving forward.
*Article: a written piece that lends some thoughtfulness, opinion, or perspective on a topical subject or personal interest;
a poem or short work of fiction that I’ve never published, or thrown together because I’m not in the mood for discussing President Trump, gun control, terrorism, racial inequality in modern America, etc.
Feel free to engage with me during my journey.
Comment to start a discussion, share anything you find worthy on social media, call me on my bullshit. If you can relate, let me know; if not, similarly.
The whole point of social media is to be social—not sit at home shaking our clenched fists at our screens; or worse, staring blankly into them, as if the bright backlight might spark some sort of epiphany.
Let’s spark an epiphany together. Let’s engage.