A Pandemic of Apathy
I write for a living. I’ve been trying to get back into writing the kind of essays here that I get really jazzed about, the kind that I sit down to work on for like half an hour and when I look up five have gone by. This one comes to mind. Or this one.
But for whatever reason, it’s just not happening. I don’t really subscribe to the idea of writers block (I’ve never really been *unable* to write, this email being a case in point), and the thing is, what I’m feeling is 100% not linked directly to writing at all. It’s linked to any and all kinds of work, even some work that I pretend is leisure. I just don’t want to do it. Any of it. And this is not a passing “meh.” This is a “my bones are made of lead and my essence has committed to doing nothing, regardless of the consequences.”
The good news is, it doesn’t seem like it’s just me. In an effort to combat these feelings (that honestly have been persistent for weeks if not months at this point) I’ve scheduled a lot of calls and lunches with friends and colleagues this week. And it sounds like *a lot* of people besides me are looking around at their late-pandemic life thinking:
Here’s my thing. I started freelancing in October 2019. That was a big reset, and in a lot of ways, it required a pretty complete deconstruction of the very idea of a career path. Then I was building my own career from the ground up, one story, one contract, one gig at a time. It took me about six months, till say, oh, March 11, 2019, to really feel like I was starting to get some height on my Jenga tower of a freelance career. And then, boom. The pandemic knocked it down. It was okay though. We were all in it together. We were all starting from square one. We had this new challenge, and all this extra time to spend focusing on work now that all that pesky and unproductive human interaction was out of the way. So I threw myself into writing the book, learning about and working on equity and justice where I could, and having anywhere from four to nine active freelance gigs/contracts at a given time. I picked up those scattered Jenga logs and I reassembled them as aggressively as I could, even higher, I’d…