Werk thoughts. In no particular order.
I still hate deadline days. Like proper hate – a deep loathing mixed with fear mixed with frustration, tied together with an unnecessarily prominent streak of rebellion that wastes no opportunity to encourage me to test every damn boundary to see just how far I can push it. With every deadline I ask myself, does it ever get easier? Doesn’t seem like it does, to me. Not yet.
The part of my work that I dislike the most is following up on money and chasing after clients who have all kinds of creative excuses.
Making telephone calls comes a close second. I severely dislike talking on the phone, and it’s never my preferred or primary mode of communication when I’m working on a story that requires me to speak to multiple sources. I am more than happy to meet people face to face, or email them. Telephone calls make me very uncomfortable because I feel I have little control over how much the person will say, and how far off the mark they may veer. I procrastinate on telephone calls endlessly, and many times it sets off a cycle of delays leading to scrambling towards a deadline, rather than peacefully going towards it, especially when I have made a very organised and planned beginning.
While on the one hand I see a steady growth in my work, whether it is the kind of writing I am doing, the kind of publications I am aiming for (and that are willing to have me write for them) and the amount I’m earning from this work, the whole song and dance around pitching, the waiting game, the long cycles between idea to publishing is making me very weary. I often catch myself lustfully thinking about a cushy comfortable stable office-going job, that will bring me a steady supply of work without all this fishing around the market.
After years of wandering about the market in search of the right niche of writing that suits me, challenges me and is satisfying too, I have finally found it. And now I want some consistency. More often than not my dreams are shattered by the reality that no such job exists in Goa at the moment. But I cannot deny the recurring and increasingly tempting thoughts that come. So often.
The irony of the timing, given that I’ve only recently started feeling like I’m in the groove and have got the hang of this style of working, is not lost on me. What can I say – I think I’m just inherently restless and always longing for the next thing, sometimes even immediately after I have gotten comfortable with what is on hand.
In an email I wrote to an old friend on Friday, I hastily said “I’m ready for the next thing” – surprising myself with the ease with which the words came out. I realise some part of me is ready for the next thing. I have come to accept that I am not the kind of person who can sustain the same thing in the same form for years on end. My advertising career was full of fits and starts, my employment in Goa lasted two years before I was ready for the next thing. I baked and sold cakes for two years and shut shop quite happily and without any regret. I’ve been freelancing for close to two years now and I can feel the itch to shift gears again hitting me. While I cannot imagine myself not writing, I am seeking out new kinds of engagements and I want to work towards solidifying what I have going now.
I’ve come back from my holiday feeling a little restless again. Some part of me is itching to do something impulsive, that I will refrain from even articulating, God forbid it gives wings to my thoughts. And another part of me wants to shush the fidgety me, remind myself to put my head down and keep swimming while I wait for the week to pass and along with it this feeling too.
I could sit with the discomfort and peel the layers apart to try and get to the heart of it. But you know what? I’m tired. It’s been a year of much introspection and upheaval and change, especially with regard to work, I just want some predictability now. Enough with the situations that mostly just make me chuckle helplessly.
So I’m going to get a little zen and say maybe this is all a part of the natural progression of things that was intended for me? This too shall pass.
While we’re on the topic of werrrk, here’s three pieces that came out just last week:
I wrote about TeaTrunk and Teabox, two boutique tea brands, and how they are giving tea a renewed avatar. My first for Paste Magazine: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/06/3-young-brands-giving-tea-a-contemporary-avatar.html
Five Morsels Of Love – a delightful family cookbook, compiled by Archana Pidathala as a tribute to her grandmother, reminded me of my own ammama and the special bond she and I share over food, so I wrote a little something about the book and food memories: http://www.thehindu.com/books/literary-review/revati-upadhya-reviews-archana-pidathalas-five-morsels-of-love/article8769309.ece
Wendell Rodricks is working on a mammoth project to create a museum of Goan Costume. I found the idea so fascinating, so I interviewed him and wrote about this ambitious project: http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/revati-upadhya-on-wendell-rodricks-project-to-convert-his-goa-home-into-a-textile-museum/article8801063.ece