Know what you need and get it.
I work a day job, which means I hear a whole lot of corporate jargon. Catch phrases come and go but “think outside the box” refuses to die. I think its vintage is about the same as “proactive,” which no one says anymore. New business poetry is born every day, with game-changer sounding positively tired lately. “Mission critical” was always dork-speak and never really caught on. But think outside the box? It’s a perennial.
Yes, I do pay attention to the way people speak.
But “getting out of your comfort zone” is the one that drives me crazy. Let’s all get as uncomfortable as possible! Let’s be inconvenienced, “disrupted,” and otherwise thrown off our games! Yo, I live in New York. I don’t need to seek opportunities to be inconvenienced, overcharged, stressed, or even threatened with bodily harm. It’s all here. And let me tell you something: it’s not helping.
Being productive, for me, means having habits and routines that support me, every time. It means I get to my desk every morning before Madame wakes up, and I put in my time. It means getting my hands on the scripts I want to read and reading a play every week. It means getting out the door on a regular basis to see shows. Around and around, again and again. It’s a box alright. A comfortable box at that. Why suffer? There is good coffee, a proper desk chair and lighting, a decent laptop, a nice couch, cheap Muji notebooks, mechanical pencils, and pens stolen from various hotels. I can pay my mortgage. There is food in the fridge.
My starving artist days involved a lot of (offstage) drama, a lot of scraping by and living on fumes. I didn’t write as much when I moved every year, when I didn’t know until the 29th of the month if I’d have the rent money together, when I couldn’t rely on certain routines. My life is much more boring now. I write a whole hell of a lot more. I’m more like Twyla Tharp and less like Francis Bacon. I can live with that.