My Occupation

Lady Bracknell: Do you smoke?
Jack: Well, yes, I must admit I smoke.
Lady Bracknell: I am glad to hear it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. There are far too many idle men in London as it is.
I'm a freelance writer and a blogger. Why is that?

Well, the short answer is that I'm very seriously medically handicapped. I'm less sick and miserable than I used to be, but I basically spend most of my time at a laptop or on my cheap smartphone trying to keep myself constructively occupied and distracted from my misery.

I sometimes cannot manage to meet the standard of "constructively occupied." So I sometimes shoot for harmlessly occupied. At such times, I play a lot of games.

I also try to figure out how to turn spending time online into some kind of income because I'm dirt poor and unemployable. So I spend part of my time trying to figure out how to write about stuff that might get me tips and Patreon supporters.

Because, hey, that's something helping me survive under circumstances where that's not supposed to be possible. I'm literally supposed to be dead already from my medical condition.

I also do freelance writing, but my medical situation means that blogging is a lot easier for me to do than freelance writing. This is true in part because there is no deadline for any of my blog posts, so I can develop a blog post over the course of weeks or months -- or even years.

I recently had a post do well (in terms of both traffic and tips) and it was a rewrite of a previous post from several years ago. I dug up the old post, copied it over to a new blog and then edited what was there, adding a bunch of new material in the process.

Although I haven't dug up the old post this time, this post is also borrowing from things I wrote years ago elsewhere on a personal blog that is no longer viewable by the public. I've written before about why I do the things I do online -- to keep myself occupied -- and I quoted The Importance of Being Earnest in that post as well.

I never have weeks, months or years to develop paid freelance writing pieces. Those pieces always have some kind of deadline and it's sometimes really hard to get my act together and meet deadlines.

I sometimes just cannot do it, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. Meanwhile, even while unable to get my act together to do freelance writing, I sometimes can put together good blog posts and those sometimes get tips and help me eat.

So sometimes when I write something good on one of my blogs, it's because I've been working on it a long time, sometimes a really long time. I've been working on it a lot longer than I could work on it if I were being paid by a client to write something similar.

That's basically why I do most of the things I do, including blogging: I'm stuck in a broken body that doesn't work right and writing is something I can (sometimes) do in spite of that fact.

So I sometimes write a whole lot, not because I have much of an audience -- I don't, really -- but because I have time on my hands and it's better than just crying in my coffee about how I have no life.

So my occupation is writing because it literally keeps me occupied. And then I plot and scheme to have it also help pay my bills a bit.