Why being a freelance writer is NOT preparing me for the zombie apocalypse

"The Road"

Scene from "The Road" (2009) starring Viggo Mortensen

As a freelance writer, I often feel like my skills are kind of, well, silly.

I get paid to write stuff. I think of things, I write them down and post them on the Internet, and people send me money for this.

Isn’t this kind of a ridiculous way to earn a living? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I’m grateful to be able to make a living at it, but I often feel inferior compared to people who really know how to “do” stuff, fix stuff, build stuff, grow stuff.

For example, my brother and his wife run Table Top Farm, an organic vegetable farm in rural Nevada, Iowa. Now that is REAL work. Farming is INTENSE. Farming is HARD. They make things GROW out of the GROUND. They raise food to feed hungry people. I can barely buy groceries.

Our friend Jessica Fisher runs a “handy woman” business where she helps people fix things around the house. She helped us install a new door and we’re going to hire her again to replace our bathroom fan and perhaps our kitchen faucet. I couldn’t handle doing any of these things.

Whenever I have to try to fix something around the house, it’s always a disaster. I always have to make 3 or 4 trips to the hardware store, I drop heavy things on my feet and/or hit my thumb with a hammer and/or break something. The work always takes 5 hours longer than I had estimated and I don’t enjoy a minute of it. I’m helpless. Instead of trying to fix things in my house, I might as well just curl up in a ball and cry.

So someday when civilization inevitably collapses into a hellish, dystopian part-Mad Max/part-Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” future, I will be at the mercy of others.

I hope the people who have actual useful skills to survive in our post-Apocalyptic hellscape will give me food in exchange for telling humorous stories around the campfire.

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