Honest, Vulnerable Career Self-Doubt

The best blog posts have a voice: you feel like you're reading a real human being, warts and all, not the hyper-objective "voice from nowhere" behind most mainstream media.

Jeremy Blachman, author of the hysterical novel Anonymous Lawyer, has a great post up today in this tradition: it's honest, vulnerable, and feels like a conversation. Jeremy's living in LA trying to sell TV scripts but is having doubts about whether he's in the right career. And he's coming to terms with the fact that other people in his industry don't seem very fulfilled, either. I recommend it for anyone feeling self-doubt of their own vis-a-vis their career.

He touches on one specific career question familiar to any wannabe writer. Do you write full-time or keep it a side thing? Jeremy writes:

If I was smarter than I am — really it's if I was bolder than I am, boldness more than smartness, I think — I would not be in LA doing whatever I'm pretending I'm doing to try and be a TV writer.  I would be doing something else, something inspiring for its own sake, something I could feel passionate about, and then the happy byproduct would be that it would also give me something cool to write about and I'd have something real to say.  But, like with Anonymous Lawyer, the writing would be the happy, inspired byproduct, and the real stuff would be something totally different.

Most important, Jeremy uses his blog to ask for help:

I'm asking the universe for a favor this year, even though I've already gotten my share of favors from the universe and am probably not entitled to ask for any more.  Just for some ideas to push me in a direction.  Can you use me?  Do you know someone who can use me?  For a brainstorm, for a project, for a job?  For ten minutes, for a week, for a year? 

I miss thinking about things, with other people.  If you want help coming up with a name for a cereal you're inventing, that seems like a fun project to work on.  I get strange looks when I tell people this, but I miss working with numbers.  I like numbers.  I like Excel.  I miss using that part of my brain, and I don't know how to use that part of my brain while crafting sales pitches for TV shows that will never get made.  Do you have a project that requires someone to play with numbers?  Maybe I can help.  Do you want to show me your corn field and have me write some web page content about it?  That sounds cool.  Do you want me to riff for 20 minutes about what I think the future of books are, and whether there might be a business opportunity in helping to transform the publishing industry?  That would be fun.  Can I help you train a monkey to open jars? That seems really cool.

I hung out with Jeremy last year in Los Angeles and endorse him highly.

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