Paralysis of Self

During tax season, a pastor has to complete the Self-Employment form. It’s an intriguing phenomenon and I could wax poetic on my tax thoughts, but no one is interested (if you think you are, you are not).

The pastor and the creative can be synonymous modes of employment. Both are victims of their own calling and are thus self-employed. But not really. Some creatives can and do work for someone. Some pastors can and do work for someone.

Regardless of tax status, self-employment is a reality of all creatives in any position.

To employ the self is to find the drive and the initiative to do the next task ahead of one’s self - no easy feat.

As I write this, I see a pile of things on my color-coded To-Do List. Some have sat on that list for days; others weeks; still more for months.

Am I a lazy person?

Perhaps in the perspective of a select few. But there’s more happening here.

When one is truly self-employed, the decisions lose their weight and their pressure. When pressure is let up, priorities wax and wane. So we self-employ our priorities.

But which priorities? And when? And what if something else sounds more exciting?

These three questions echo on repeat in the brain of the self-employed creative and create a mental paralysis. It can be called ‘choice paralysis,’ but it is ultimately a paralysis of the self.

A lull in self-employment.

A lack of employ. A lack of self.

Nevertheless, it remains the cyclical impetus of the creative to employ the self once more and drag one’s self from the paralysis. It must be done - by oneself.


March 3rd, 2022