The Editorial: Nine to Five. No Way.

The Editorial: Nine to Five. No Way.

Like every twentysomething hammering away at a chance for success, I’m stretched tight tight tight like spandex over a bulging body. I wake up early, shove something down that only distantly resembles food, hop on my bicycle (exercise and transport!), and get straight to the hive. I work across three countries in four languages at what feels like millions of jobs with billions of roles. Coffee breaks are for extra meetings and evening pints are for networking. And there are events to be seen at and podcasts to keep up with and blogs and magazines that simply must be read and messages, texts, tweets, and that oh-so-endless flow of email. I’ll get around to answering that… tomorrow? Meh. Maybe next week.

Like the 1980 Dolly Parton movie, 9 to 5 is a quaint and distant anachronism; a relic from a prehistoric time of olive green typewriters and polyester suits and indoor smoking. Sing it with me (because you know you know the song): ”Working nine to five. What a way to make a living! Barely get-ting by. It’s all taking and no giving…” Oh, if only you knew, Dolly. You guys had it good.

And for those of us insane enough to work in the context of “creativity” in the traditional sense –and most of you, dear readers, do exactly that– that oh-so-stifling routine seems just a tad… unjust? Counterintuitive? There is no more surefire way to stifle and generally make something less-enjoyable than by turning it into regimented work. There are cranky clients and heavy workloads and difficult coworkers. Money? Not so much. Even parties are work. Tedious work. And did I tweet today? Is my portfolio up-to-date? And all that email! Maybe next week.

But I’m supposed to be a creative, damnit! In pre-adult responsibility days, I could glue and draw and destroy and build and paint and cut and photograph and write at will. Now, if I’m lucky I have the wherewithal to read a book before bed, I can usually make it through a chapter before falling asleep on top of it. So, when in the hell can I create? Certainly not the next time those dear, dear clients asks for something “really creative.”

But take heart! You can find inspirational escapes somehow. In those nooks and crannies of your daily grind, somewhere between the tweets and the tedium, you can rediscover that once-upon-a-time passion. New passion. The best among you even turn the tedium into inspiration.

Diego Giménez’ magical photographs of drivers in their cars on his workaday commute in Argentina are a gorgeous lesson in exactly that. He managed to turn his doldrums into an arrestingly beautiful slice of humanity. Now that’s creativity in the post 9 to 5 world.

Tag Christof – Images courtesy of Diego Gimenez