There’s not much that would make me return to high school or undergraduate studies, but their inherent structure is certainly appealing. You have a certain number of days per week where you’re out of the house, you have assessment and other commitments that take up other large portions of your time and the free time you do have is clearly earned and can be enjoyed guilt free. Social interaction is also built in – you’re forced to have friends or at least be around other people.
I’ve finished uni but haven’t really been able to transition into the professional world as completely as I’d like. I’ve worked various jobs which are either almost entirely solo (sports cameraman), with small student groups (tutor) or so mind numbing I can’t even describe.
The few times I have been in large work groups have been awful experiences, (which might be on me – I don’t play well with idiots ). These jobs have also been intermittent – a morning here, a Sunday afternoon there. At one stage this year I was working six days a week, but no longer than 4 hours per day.
This lack of structure does mean more freedom, but it’s an incomplete freedom. There’s more time to write, but less time to get stuck into a serious writing mindset. I also find it difficult to know if I’m really working towards anything worthwhile – sure this new script is cool but no one has even read the last one.
It’s not like school where there is a clearly defined list of requirements with regular feedback and assessment. At this stage in my career, no one gives a shit. That’s fine, I’m not expecting them to, but it’s surely easier when you have a deadline in place and people waiting on you.
There are benefits though. More time to read and watch things. Not working a 9-5 grind. More time with Senaai and Sam (and sometimes Cooper and Kitty), which is my favourite thing, no matter what we’re doing.
But this is all lumped in with the creatively crippling fear of not paying rent or dealing with soul destroying Centrelink and less than helpful (and sometimes less than competent) job service providers. I spent my educating tears desiring freedom. Now I want its structure.
I have been developing a project with Screen Queensland which has been great. Deadlines! Feedback! A possible career! I hope it leads somewhere.
I’ve also dabbled in post grad study. One course of a film Masters course (which unfortunately felt just like first year degree again) reminded me of the perils of group work. I’m not sure if I’ll go back.
I’m considering another Masters degree but the cost is frightening. I’d love to study it and have it on my CV. But it’s the doing of it which is the thing.
Maybe I’m better off toiling away with my writing, hoping it leads somewhere while working away at all sorts of jobs. At the very least, it’s more likely to lead to Senaai and I being able to travel, though a sweet Masters degree might too. It’s a lot to consider.
But on the plus side… if I were to study… it would be structured…
One thought on “Structure”
Beautifully epwritten as always, Lon. I hope something worthwhile turns up soon. Anyone who knows you , would vouch that you would be a fantastic employee!! I may be biased, of course….