Tag Archives: Thought

A Paid Non-working Day

18 Jun

I used to feel like a corporate slave – employed but needless of creativity…

I’ve spent this rainy, gloomy day’s hours on research and writing and ended up feeling that I did not work at all.

I thought I worked, but I did not.

I do not call it work because I drowned time and effort with the freedom of creativity and the gift of art. Only by distinguishing work from creative labor can one possibly feel the importance of what he does.

From somewhere I have read in one of Lewis Hyde‘s classic, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, that:

Work is what we do by the hour. It begins and, if possible, we do it for money. Welding car bodies on an assembly line is work; washing dishes, computing taxes, walking the rounds in a psychiatric ward, picking asparagus — these are work.

Labor, on the other hand, sets its own pace. We may get paid for it, but it’s harder to quantify… Writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms — these are labors.

I used to feel like a corporate slave – employed but needless of creativity, ordinary and mundane. Now, there is a different kind of focus and clarity that I am a part of something bigger.

Given the labor that I do, I feel free. Author Christian Mihai wrote in his recent blog post, “that this is freedom. Doing what you love, no matter what. And even when you’re starving, when you’re cold, when you just don’t want to go out because you’ll undoubtedly feel as if everyone else is much happier than you are, when you sit down at a desk and do your thing, that’s freedom, a kind of freedom that no one can grant you; you’ve got to take it, you’ve got to fight for it with all you’ve got.

Yes, writing is what I do and this is my submission to the world – I did the world a favor by rendering creative labor.

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