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The Arc of "I Need a Job" Is Complete

Being a writer, I internalize everything as a narrative.  I brush my teeth in the first chapter and a great big "The End....?" shows up right after I go to bed.

My blog is no exception.  I can trace several arcs across the last three years.  (Oh, by the way, my three year anniversary was on the 17th.  Apparently I spent that day enjoying / bitching about Maximum Overdrive.  Figures.)

One of those arcs is the Hipster Holy Grail, where I started out with a clever name first and figured I'd get a hook and a style later, only to build up to something more involved and disciplined over time. The evolution of that feature has been a constant source of unnecessary anxiety on my part - never has anybody sweated the details of dumb movie reviews on the Internet as much.  Recently that arc had its second-act turn, the part where I got into a groove and know what I'm doing with it.  Maybe in another three years I'll get readers.

Another arc is the site design, which has settled into the casual, semi-lazy, semi-clean style you see today. It's probably in the second act, too.  It's waiting for somebody to tell it how monstrous it is and then I'll take a desperate move to clean it up, and the third act will be about rebuilding from there.

The most telling arc, though, is that of I Need a Job.

The big parts of that arc are obvious.  In my early posts, I mentioned I was writing the first draft, and then any writing posts since then have traced the evolution to present day.  I went through my phase of self-doubt, I wrestled with the decision to self-publish versus get an agent, I did all the hard work of putting it out on Amazon, and then I celebrated when I sold my first official (i.e., non-friend, non-family) copy.

I wish that was the full story.  It would be a sweet, charming little indie movie with some quirky characters.  The upper middle class would love it, I'm sure.  Others... might.

Unfortunately, I seeded a little bit of my downfall early on, so the arc didn't totally wrap up until recently.

I've mentioned casually here and there that I have this habit of distancing myself from my work after it's been complete.  A lot of the time that's because I'm a different person as I get older and wiser, and I'm not in the exact same emotional state I was when I first wrote the piece.  It gets harder and harder to be in love with my work the longer I go without fiddling with it.

I'm not ashamed of anything - it's just that I start thinking, "Yeah, that novel was a good try, but the book I'm working on now is really where it's at."

That's where I am with I Need a Job now.  I'm sure as hell not going to call it "bad" - I'm still trying to sell it, after all (And for less than a dollar!  What a steal!) - but the passion and love I had for it back in 2013-2014 has faded.  Now it's just a product.  It's something I see and I think, "If I rewrote that now, it would be so much better."

The good news is that I did publish it, and I'm not rewriting it.  And that's where this particular story gets its happy ending.  Regardless of whether or not I have any passion for the book, I've learned to let go of that fiddly feeling of doubt.  The book is what it is.  Some people like it and have told me so.  Others did not like it and have told me so.  But I didn't take it off the market, and I didn't let it hold me back from working on other things.  I'm not trying to be perfect - just productive.

I used to joke that I Need a Job was therapy for me because I was working out a lot of anxieties about career and expectations.  In reality, it was therapy because I learned to put something out into the world and leave it there.

That's good enough.  Roll credits.

Oh man, wouldn't it be perfect if I just stopped the blog right here?  Too bad I can't shut up or I'd do exactly that.