Time Management, Gin, and Reading at Stories

One thing that I’m learning about freelancing is that time management is so important.  At first, you think you have all day, and you can work on certain projects as much as you want.  But then you start getting work while you still need to look for more work and it suddenly builds up and up and you feel out of control…whew!

Detroit, Joseph Lapin

That’s kind of how I felt today…powerless to outcomes.  Will someone respond to my pitch?  Will an ad agency respond to my query?  Will someone hate my writing or like it?  Well, those questions are out of my control, and, as soon as I remembered that, I felt better, which is what they talk about in the rehab center I used to work at.  Oh wow, I almost started to write about the serenity prayer.  But I’m going to stop myself.  It’s obviously a great thing, but it seems somewhat intimate.

And I have to remind myself one way to help with the feeling of powerlessness is to keep a schedule and follow that schedule.  Even when you can’t finish your work completely, remind yourself there’s always tomorrow.  The sun also rises.  (What an amazing title that was.)

So to change the subject, I was on twitter, and I started talking about my top five poems with another poet.  One of the top five was “Gin” by Philip Levine.  I wrote a bit about him yesterday and how he finds beauty in work.  Well, Gin, that’s an incredible poem.  It’s about the first time the narrator, a young boy, drank gin.  He couldn’t figure out why people drank that stuff.  He said it tasted like hair tonic. 

And, well, this reminded me of when I was 12-years old, hanging out in the woods with two of my neighbors — Justin and Aaron — drinking Canadian Whiskey.  I couldn’t stand the taste, but we all drank it heroically, believing that the one who drank the most without wincing was the biggest man.  Speaking of Hemingway, this whole I-am-a-bigger-man-than-you-because-I-drink thing is still true.  But it’s lame.  Though I was a part of it as a kid without even being aware of it.  I do enjoy drinking, however.

So I remember those woods in my hometown, Clinton, Mass, and I remember the sounds.  What I’m thinking about tonight is the sound of crickets.  I’m thinking about the lack of crickets here in Long Beach.  Now this is nostalgia.  Some people hate nostalgia.  But that seems to me to say that you hate memories, and I love memories, because, in the end, maybe that’s what has the potential to last forever.

Oh, I have good news.  This Saturday I will be reading at Stories in Echo Park with some amazing writers.  It’s part of concert series, too.  It’s going to be bad ass.  Really stoked.  I will share the poster tomorrow.  Going to bed.

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