Monday, April 22, 2013

The Freelance Nightmare

When I was writing songs as part of my employment repertoire, and to a lesser extent even when mixing music for narrative, I never considered myself remotely brilliant; if anything, only blessed. Then I had no choice but to believe in myself, to exude as much confidence as I was able. That bravado gave me the courage to say yes to a client asking for a song from scratch in less than 24 hours, and the wisdom to know when no was the right and only answer.

It was false bravado in fact, I was quite often scared to death that my last tune would truly be my last. I had no idea where my ability came from, how the ideas formed, in what closet I stored the words I'd end up pulling from a hat when I needed them.

It's one thing to write if, when and on what topic I choose; and quite another to write on command, when the difference between approval and rejection is measured in real dollars and cents and not just broken dreams or mildly hurt feelings.

But both types of writing have the same effect on me as it concerns tomorrow; I fear I'll never again write what even I would care to read, that I'll never, on reading back something I've penned, think the words profound, stylish, complex or even simply clever. I assume one day, likely this day, whoever gave me this gift will take it back, that the deal made with the devil when I was born will have run it's course and now I'll need to pay for my time in the light with a few bars of darkness and void.

It's not an everyday thing, but often enough to skew my emotional obsession about my contribution to the art world. I know there had to have been some contract signed by my parents perhaps, with a nameless otherworldly figure who offered creativity in return for certain sections of my brain, randomly selected over time, to toy with for it's amusement. It's either that or I'm actually crazy and it's my insanity that fuels my fantasies. Yea, like that's possible...

I'm sure my oft desire to be dead let's say, makes me more likely to pen inventive suicide notes masquerading as cries for help, and long, descriptive regrets that dig so far into my past that even I can't figure out in what century they happened, and in turn, who could possibly be that freakin sorry for that freakin long.

No doubt I feel as if with only a few hours left to live, and a few months worth of things left to say, I need to hurry it along a bit; in case I actually do the big bang in the near future. This would explain my prolific nature, or at least my verbosity. And the regret idea fits into the "overwrought anxiety for no real reason" mold, a page to every overdramatized emotion, and an overdramatized emotion to every page. If all this fits together as it appears to, I'd not be creative if not for the fact that I'm nuts...a pact with the devil if I ever heard one.

My lack of memory seems to be a part of every problem; I forget the last time I was stupid enough to write directly on line where incremental saves are unlikely, and so I re-commit myself to the same silly yet painful mistake over and over; the erasure of another godlike work in progress.

And my big dumb ox thing seems to be a blessed curse along the same line, a "must have been preordained by signatures in blood" sort of affectation. I am deeply in tune with honesty for example, not so much because I'm a purist or even a moralist of some sort. It's mostly that I forget how much it hurts when people hate me for saying what I actually think in deference to a creative modification of the truth based on what I think they think. Had I any memory at all, I'd be ducking and clucking just like the majority of humans, damned afraid of the next sharp stick in the eye to come my way in punishment for words I could easily have kept under lock and key.

It's like everything I've done of a creative bent is tied to my wierdness, and that in turn is tied to contractual events (if I'm right) beyond my control; and all this being the case, the fact that I can write/sing/draw/scratch my butt and chew gum at the same time, is gifted to me by some unseen force that could at any moment withdraw the offer.

It's all too real, this fear of being struck stupid, talentless and tasteless in one fell swoop. I really do wonder every time I hit "turn off computer" whether the next time I switch back on it'll be only electronics that fire up, and for my part I'll stare at the screen and drool at the purdy pitchur in the 17" plastic frame.

You'll know it when you see it, particularly if I'm writing verse. If ever I rhyme "faint" with "Hank" for instance, know that I'm washed up and delete me from your friends list before you feel nothing but pity, or worse, annoyed boredom. If you see "faint" followed by "paint" or "'aint", and "Hank" with words like "crank" and "skank", feel safe to read on as my benefactor has allowed me one last profoundly creative moment, before stripping me of all redeeming value. Wouldn't it be funny if it was right after writing about losing my artistic insight, that I'd lose my artistic insight?

His name was Hank, he loved a skank,
he paid her with an ounce of crank

Nope....I guess I'm still ok so far.


  1. Ha! Super. I have the same fear.

  2. Everyone's allowed a few dodgy rhymes, Ron. :)
    There's a Dr Seuss book where he rhymes 'very' with 'scary', and every single time I read it to Daniel he points it out. Though I don't know what Seuss's accent sounded like, maybe it was a perfect rhyme for him.