With day-to-day life being just three shrug emoji's, standing on top of each under a trench coat, masquerading as the new normal, overuse of the phrase, "The New Normal," and sourdough bread, freelancers find themselves trying to navigate an even more unstable environment. Articles are getting killed left and right, online outlets are folding, and getting paid for that interview from 2018 still remains a struggle.
In an act of solidarity with my fellow freelancers, I'm sharing my new day-to-day below as a reminder that "routine" is as relative as ever.
Wake up still exhausted from a night of very-much-interrupted sleep. Was the Benadryl I took last night expired?
I should just get up and make coffee.
Get up and make coffee.
In an effort to remain cognizant of developing news and trying to regulate what is pragmatic versus speculation, I watch governor Cuomo's daily press briefing while scrolling Twitter with a jaw I haven't unclenched since March.
Okay, let me actually get my laptop because if I check my email on my phone, I know I'll open each unread email in an effort to minimize the notifications while making a mental note to respond at my computer later, but then I'll forget to respond later because they've been marked read and then I'll respond to newer messages that have arrived in the time between me marking aforementioned emails as read on my phone and actually getting my computer from the other room, ergo fooling myself into thinking I responded to all my emails.
What do I want for lunch?
No, let me save my money. I ordered delivery yesterday and the day before.
Attempt to use the panini press I bought on Ambien back in 2013.
Order dumplings online from my local Thai place while convincing myself that I am doing my civic duty by participating in keeping the local economy afloat.
Eat lunch while watching the perpetual SVU marathon on USA. OMG, should I pitch a piece that ranks each ADA from SVU? Let me google and make sure no one hasn't done that yet. Fuck, someone did. Even though I'm pleased with how they ranked Cabot (#1, duh), how could they do Sharon Stone dirty like that? She was way too much of a bad bitch to not be in the top five. Maybe I can write a piece about how underrated Sharon Stone's character was.
Finally get my laptop from the other room and open up Google Docs. I need to get started on this piece that's due, but first let me Tweet this joke so I don't forget it.
I tell myself, "Listen, bitch, at least you have some work. Not every freelancer is as lucky as you, so get your ass writing because you know at least four people who would happily write this pitch that you were fortunate to have been accepted."
Oh, sick, the drummer from Paramore retweeted my joke.
Oscillate between picking a background on the PicsArt app for my Tweet to post to Instagram and refreshing my Twitter feed for an hour.
NO MORE SOCIAL MEDIA. Go back into my Google Doc.
Type and retype the same sentence over and over again.
Okay, you know what? I can't break my back by forcing myself to be productive in this time of unprecedented global challenge. It's completely L U D I C R O U S to expect to perform at a normal human capacity during a time of extreme medical and economic hardship. We should take this time to closely examine the toxic capitalist culture that breeds this obsession with productivity, and work to unlearn the unhealthy habits we've been indoctrinated with.
4:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Time for dinner.
Go to sleep.
I could just turn off my phone.
Greg Mania is the author of the upcoming memoir, Born to Be Public. Pre-order it here.