Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

The Thought Before Tomorrow

There are days when I realise that it is just unfortunate that I need a job.

Actually, that should probably read, "It's unfortunate that I need money." If everything in the world was free, I'd be quite happy. But no, once again, that fact that I was not consulted about the creation of the world's culture at the time it was done has led to things not being right. I've so many complaints about that meeting, really.

Since I handed in the PhD in March, I have spent the last six months sort of chilling round, keeping things real simple. I wrote Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, read a bit, went a few places, saw a few gigs, applied for a few jobs, and tried to ignore my friends and family who kept saying, "Have you heard back about your thesis?" The answer for that is, incidentally, still no. It's faintly irritating, but I remind myself that a friend of mine took a year to get her's back, so I'm not at that, yet. But however you look at it, I haven't been taxing myself, but now I'm getting kinda bored, and I'm looking for something to occupy myself with. Ready for something new, please.

In solving this, I've had to make some choices about employment. There's lots of jobs I don't want to do, and lots of places I don't want to work at, and if I'm honest, I'd like to stay just in Sydney and teach creative writing, but that's a very limited option. The jobs are just not here at the moment and might never be, especially if you're talking consistent, regular pay cheque work. Now, I've got friends who give the whole, "A job is just a job," line of thought, but if I have to spend a lot of time at it, that's not my theory. I want to at least like the thing I have to spend time at. I like teaching creative writing, simply because I find it stimulating for my own writing; but it seems that if I want to do this, I have to broaden the search, and so I am, which leads me more often than not looking into America, where it seems there are quite a few jobs doing this.

So that's what I'm doing, I'm looking.

To be honest, I've no idea how it's going to go. Who can say? None of the jobs start until August 2007, though the early application deadline is November, which I figure is for budget concerns and so forth. I have no real burning desire to go and live in the States, but it would be different, and about as close as I'll come to working as a full time writer these days, so that counts for a lot.

(Full time writer side note: Have you seen how hard writers in the midlist work to produce work that they often say they wish they could have had another six months on? No thanks. If I've learnt anything in the last six years, it's that give me a year or two to write a novel, at my own pace, to the point where I'm happy and can't stand the sight of it no more, and I'm good.)

However, I do have a backup plan in case this falls through, and that's to enroll back in University to do a one year teacher qualification course (either a Dip Ed, or the other one that floats around, so you can teach English as a second language or whatever--I forget what it's called). I like teaching, and I don't mind High School kids, especially those emo'd up, not too popular ones who want to burn things and later become famous (they're my fav), but all up, I could do without going back to Uni for another degree, and I'd prefer not to be teaching High School English simply because I have no desire to teach picture books, propaganda like children's books, and poetry that is so boring it makes my eyes bleed. But as a fall back plan goes, I could do it, and I'd be quite content with it. So there's that.

Anyhow, how's that for some random thoughts on the this is my life, what-the-fuck-am-I-doing shit?
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