A Writer that Doesn’t Write Much

Is there an expiry date on the job title? I really hope not; it’s my go-to job title, my gut-reaction whenever questioned. During the working week I go to an Actual Job that Pays me Money on a Regular Basis, but I like to believe that there can be a large chasm between the thing you do and what you are. Still, I haven’t written an article or a review for over a year now, but there has been a Global Situation that I can probably attribute that to. There has of course been the option of writing about digitised work but a) I feel that if every artist and critic is out of work and scrabbling around for opportunities and audiences, then no-one needs me to add more poorly-chosen words in to the mix; and b) I fucking hate it all.

Except of course I don’t hate it all. I’ve watched some incredible work during lockdown, and if the work has turned out to be shit or even just mediocre then I’ve found it remarkably easy to flick that laptop shut and saunter off to my kitchen to hoover up some more cashews and listen to the radio. It’s all been just grand.

That’s not to say I haven’t written anything. I have Done some Occasional Writing. There’s a stack of Post-Its, four half-filled Moleskines and a few one-off drafts of this and that, all strewn here and there. At the start of lockdown I did a very, very brief stint as a care-worker, out of which I juiced a lot of drafted writing, but which also left me deflated and emotional and I never went back. That brings up real feelings of shame, as I write it. I’ve written two (2) Tweets, one (1) since deleted. I made a zine, but all the places where I might make copies of it for further distribution are closed so fuck it, it’s a one-off.

But I’m scared that if I don’t use this title of writer more actively, it will be taken away from me and I don’t want that. I’m also sometimes scared that I don’t exist in any kind of meaningful way. So here is some writing, and I’ll maybe post a bit of the aforementioned stuff, and finally I commit loosely to myself that I’ll do a bit more of this, just to prove to myself that I exist, in those murkier moments where I forget.

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