You Can Love What You Do… And Still Procrastinate
I love my job, but I don’t always love doing my job. Does that make sense?
I mean, I genuinely think I am living the dream. I am making a living — not a fortune, but a happy, privileged living, out of writing about topics I care about. I travel to new places, meet new people and get to ask them whatever I want. Sometimes they will even answer me.
It has always somewhat surprised me that, even as the anti-media discourse has been on the rise, TV shows and movies depicting reporters have continued to prosper. In fact, there have been more than ever. The Bold Type is one example of a show that took the classic trope of a reporter, who seems to have unlimited time for each of her articles, reach immediate success, and somehow tailor every topic she writes about into solving the problem she is facing at that exact time.
This romanticised vision is present from Sex and the City to Spotlight, and never seems to get old, even when real-life journalists face increasing hostility.
While a legitimate and important criticism of the media is necessary and important to work out who is funding our information system and make sure that journalism continues to serve its purpose as a check and balance to power, today the criticism is often just empty generalities. Traditional and indie media are rejected en masse. Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today is rejected, but so is the work of investigative journalists that risk their lives to uncover those things that the powerful don’t want you to know. Sites with no fact-checking, pursuing disinformation campaigns of unclear entities, are suddenly deemed more reliable than magazines written by scientists or experts.
But despite the dire landscape of the media today, with mistrust from the public growing even as the rates we are paid are shrinking, it is still, to some extent, a dream job. I do sometimes work in pyjamas from bed. I get invited. to random, posh events, where I try to blend in as I raid the open bar. I often write articles to answer a nagging doubt in my own mind, or solve a problem I myself am having.
In theory, this is the dream. And so, naturally, I feel guilty when I am procrastinating…