Because life’s too short to worry about coulda, shoulda, woulda, I’ve taken a page from Diane Lee’s book and I’ve written my own “Fuck It List.” This is, basically, a “Bucket List” in reverse, enumerating the top 10 things I absolutely do not give two fucks about, and simply don’t have any time for.
Okay, never say never, but this list is a bunch of stuff I see no point in wasting further time and energy upon.
FUCK THE FOLLOWING:
1. Telemarketers and time-wasting phone calls.
Normally I don’t even answer my phone, period, but the last wrong number I received inspired me to fuck with ‘em instead. I was tired of seeing the “unavailable number” message on my phone, so I picked up.
“I need to speak with Mr. or Mrs. McClane,” said the man on the other end.
“Well yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!” I retorted, adding, “Don’t ever call here again.”
Seriously, though, don’t call me unless I gave you explicit permission. I’M WORKING.
Ain’t nobody got time for that! I recently shut down a pointless argument with a dude who wanted to both mansplain and Jewsplain to me about Captain America and the Holocaust. Really? Fictional characters, people. Am I getting through to you at all?
I’m a sucker for free webinars. I like learning new things, and I also like the opportunity to take a break from my work to kick back and listen to something educational for an hour or so.
I’m swearing them off for the next few months, because I think a lot of them are a) repetitive and b) trying to sell me stuff I don’t really need.
That’s not to say that free webinars aren’t worthwhile, or interesting, or useful. I just need to focus on doing what I have to do, right now, instead of learning new things (or reinforcing stuff I already know) all the time.
So, sorry, webinars, but for now: fuck off.
4. Not Charging What I’m Worth.
This is a recurring issue, particularly in indie lit circles. Lots of people try to shame those of us with businesses that focus on writers for either charging “too much” or supposedly “taking advantage” of the poor writers.
Look, just setting up a business that focuses on writers doesn’t automatically mean you’re taking advantage of them. Lots of businesses help writers, like editors, cover designers, publishers, etc. Are these people all predators? No. And if you’ve done your research, you should be able to get your money’s worth from the service provider you’ve chosen.
If you think someone is charging too much, fine. Hire someone else. But stop accusing people of scamming others just because they’re trying to charge a living wage for their services.
5. Putting Others’ Wants & Needs Above My Own.
I’m a freelancer, which people take to mean “free for everything, all the time.” Wrong. This is my life, these are my boundaries – take it or leave it.
6. Lack of Exercise.
Related to #5, I need time for me, because my health is more important than anything else. And if your project can’t wait 30 minutes for me to go for a walk, then I don’t want to work with you anyway.
My shoulder hurts all the time, and I’m only 37. I’m not about to check myself into a nursing home just because some client wants me to destroy myself in the name of finishing their project faster.
7. Not Reading.
I used to read a book a week, easily. Now I’m way behind on both my writing and my reading, and that makes me cranky – in case you hadn’t noticed!
I need time to read, offline, and decompress. If I don’t get that time, bad things happen.
Therefore, I’ll be reading a book a week until further notice, and if that means forcing my husband to turn off the damn TV so we can read quietly together, so be it.
8. Staying Put.
My lease is up in three months. Frankly, I’m sick of living so far from downtown San Diego.
I want to be closer to the city’s culture. I want delivery options beyond pizza. I want neighbors that aren’t a bunch of meth-addicted hillbillies with guns and demon spawn. I want to live somewhere that I can go for a walk without having to drive somewhere first. Hell, I want to be able to take public transportation!
And since we moved to San Diego to be close to the ocean, I feel we deserve to live closer to the ocean! I refuse to pay more for the privilege, though, because I’m already paying enough to be mortgaging a house here and instead I’m only renting. If we can find a place within walking distance of the water, I’ll be happy.
There are a couple of writing groups I belong to that are really great… except for one thing: they don’t like anyone to use “adult” language (i.e. “cuss words”).
Now, I’m completely respectful of their rules, because I do get a lot out of the groups otherwise, but I find this attitude both provincial and boring.
I’m an adult. I use the F-word – as illustrated quite clearly in this post. I don’t censor it, because I’m sure we all still know what “F***” means. And because fuck is just a word, like any other. No better, no worse. (Indeed, it’s a nice Anglo-Saxon word which quite clearly conveys the true spirit of the action it portrays… but that’s another argument for another day.)
As a woman in one of my critique groups noted, sometimes the use of the F-word is a good way to break the ice. Particularly in the company of men, it makes people feel comfortable opening up and sharing things with you.
But mostly, I’m not going to censor my language, because I believe that words are tools, and that language conveys meaning. The F-word conveys many different meanings, as George Carlin has noted, and so it comes in handy in almost any situation. So if it’s a quick way to illustrate a character’s character, I’ll use it.
Also, I’d really like to see some of these non-cussing folks when they accidentally hit their thumb with a hammer. I suspect they don’t let out a loud “FUDGE!” in place of the real thing.
Fuck fear. I’ve lived plenty of my life afraid of different things. And in the past, some people have said I’ve been “brave” to write about the things I did.
I feel like I’ve lost that in my writing, and that bothers me. I think it’s because I don’t usually write about such personal things in my blog and elsewhere anymore. For fear of being censored. For fear of the kinds of nutjobs that lurk on the internet, criticizing me. For fear of some nameless, shadow folks taking offense, calling me out, making a scene.
Fuck it. I refuse to be afraid to be myself. I refuse to be afraid of what others think of me, based on who I am or what I write about. I can’t control that stuff anyway, so why fear it?
Life is too short to be scared to do anything, but especially to be yourself and do the things that make you happy.
That’s why I wrote this Fuck It List.
Fuck fear. Fuck time wasters. Fuck not living your life the way it deserves to be lived.
So, what’s on your Fuck It List?