On picking your battles

So a while back, I got steamrollered into doing something I didn’t want to do, and the day I had to do it, I broke out with the most glorious case of hives you have ever seen. Huge, red, welts all over my arms and upper body and face, scratchy HIDEOUS hives that started as I was driving over to do The Thing, hives that continued popping up like some mutant rabbit population as I did The Thing, and hives that only stopped when I finished The Thing. Ten minutes after I was done, the hives were gone.

I think it’s safe to say that when doing something makes you break out into hives, you have got to ask yourself, Why the fuck are you doing this?

The problem was The Thing was something I had done many times before so it wasn’t like I was intimidated, or worried, or in the throes of a panic attack. I just didn’t want to do it this time. So I told myself my favorite thing, which is Who asked you? and stomped off to do The Thing even thought I seriously, seriously did not want to.

What brings this story to mind is a friend of mine who has just gone through something similar. This is so emblematic of the way a lot of us think. I should do this thing. I shouldn’t let this challenge stop me. When, frankly, sometimes you’re just far better off admitting that you don’t want to do something. Or that you won’t. Or that doing it is just plain dumb.

Jessica is girl who startles easily, and she’s always hated loud noises, like fireworks, so I’m thinking a good career option for her would be munitions expert, right?

Look, if loud noises startle you, maybe you should get a job in a quiet office. (This is me talking to myself now. I’m trying to remember this.) There’s nothing particularly noble or heroic about tormenting yourself just because other people are capable of doing something that’s very hard for you.

Doing insane things just to do them is, um, insane.

If you hate the vagaries of freelancing, get a staff job. If having a staff job makes you insane, start freelancing. I don’t care. One isn’t better than the other. They’re different, is all. Pick the one that works for you. You don’t somehow get extra points for doing something that’s debilitating to you.

Life your best life, not someone else’s.

Thank you, my rant is over now and I think I’ve learned something.



Dojo Wisdom for Writers, second edition, now available on Amazon in print and ebook! (Nook and other ebook versions here)
Catch a Falling Star (by Jessica Starre) and The Matchmaker Meets Her Match (by Jenny Jacobs), two of my favorite novels.

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