Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Work Is A Four-Letter Word

My work mate Steph has upped sticks for London and a new publishing job. Her new life, living in Brixton, working on Euston Road, drinking on Brick Lane, sounds exciting and makes me mad jealous. Goodbye drinks are a sedate coke for me as I have blood tests in the morning so for the rest of the evening I have plenty of time to think. As always happens when somebody jumps ship from work, I immediately want to follow suit. In my experience people tend to leave Manchester for London or not at all, and particularly in this industry. There follows the inevitable, repetitive, frustrating, dead-end circle … If I want to stay in publishing I can’t stay in Manchester. I either have to go to Oxford (no), possibly Edinburgh (no) or London. If I move to London I’ll go from having a big, beautiful, bargain city-centre flat all to myself, back to having a bedroom in a shared house again, at thirty, not to mention making new friends, starting over, cutting back my spending in the most exciting of cities and kissing any chance of property ownership goodbye. I’m not sure I can do all that. Most importantly I can’t leave my other half behind. It seems I have to (and want to) stay in Manchester.

The next option is to get a job that isn’t publishing. Here I get the shivers. If I don’t stay in publishing what else can I do? I think I may be institutionalised after seven years. Seven years! I’m sure my skills are transferable, but to what? My saved job searches are depressing to say the least. There must be something else out there. I embark on a flurry of activity: endless job sites, company searches, friends of friends, entertain the prospect of freelancing … Soon I find a few days have gone by and I’ve done no writing. The Novel must take priority above all things. So I settle back into writing and the job hunt goes on the backburner. Before you know it, as always happens, another year will have gone by and I will be 31. Is 31 too old to get a new career? A new job even? I daydream about a large advance on The Novel …

Soundtrack: Acid House Kings, love 'em. I might overdose on twee Swedish music if I'm not careful but for now 'Sunday Morning' and 'This Heart Is A Stone' are a tonic. At the other end of the spectrum Amy Winehouse's Frank is sounding pretty good again, maybe cos the sun's out, briefly. Plus Cinerama and Squarepusher and Los Campesinos! Exclamation mark is theirs of course.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Top-tastic playlisting, loving your work.