Authors often struggle to coin pithy titles for their books. I didn’t. I just thought fuck it and scrawled Don’t be an arsehole on my scribblings then got stuck into the far more important job of actually writing one.
It’s a blasé attitude to convention reflected comprehensively throughout The Human Freelancer book. Yet not fretting over the title meant it had time to ferment of its own accord. Here’s how that happened:
- Try to make a point in roughly 600 words per chapter
- Repeat step 1. about twenty-ish times
- Look! A theme has emerged: that people should behave like decent human beings. Cue wordplay.
What makes the title even more interesting and pretentious is its bestial origins. Whenever I watch folk lob bricks at each other or vote in right-wing nationalists (both hobbies here in Leeds) it reminds me of the great divide between our animalistic (reptilian?) and human natures.
It’s as if everything that’s bad in us comes from our primitive heritage (fear, hate, weapons), and everything that’s good (hope, love, ice cream) is what we strive to be. So the title is a middle-finger pointed unambiguously towards where I think our species should travel. The alternative is to regress into festering muddy swamps and kick the living shit out of each other until a more intelligent species evolves. My money’s on the ants: natures communists without the stigma.
And what about that superbly devised subtitle?
Crafted to spell out exactly what the book does to anyone unfamiliar with cryptic zoological metaphors, the subtitle wasn’t quite as organic and pseudo-intellectually inspired. It first had to stumble through a few permutations:
A contemplative guide to self-employment for honest newcomers
Too navel-gazey, plus honesty isn’t a prerequisite; someone reading the book might fancy a change of course to a more virtuous path. Either that or they’ve just committed shoplifting.
A philosophical guide to self-employment for conscientious newcomers
While there’s plenty of abstract rumination in The Human Freealncer book, this subtitle implies it should be read whilst wearing a beret and smoking rollies in a Parisian cafe. We’re onto something with that conscientious bit though. That’s all about doing your work well, led by a strong moral compass – exactly what reading this book will give you (as well as a ferocious migraine).
There are certain words I couldn’t omit from the title. Guide features in both instances because that’s what the book is, like a kindly mentor (with wandering hands…). And self-employment appears to shamelessly broaden the appeal to our brothers and sisters in other disciplines beyond freelancing.
A guide to happy and honest self-employment for conscientious newcomers
Finally, honest slots itself neatly into place and we see a timely entrance from happiness: the implied conclusion of adhering to every caustic nugget of advice nestling between the pages of The Human Freelancer.
There you have it. Two refined bubbles of virtue and clarity that floated miraculously to the surface in thirty-odd years of accumulated mental effluent, expedited through sheer brute force. And that, in a nutshell, is what the Human Freelancer book represents. Just for you, I conscientiously waded through oceans of mind-sewage and fished out only the juiciest chunks of knowledge from amongst the turds and tampons. And that’s precisely why you should invest in a copy.
LOOK! There's a book full of this shit and more!
Self-help business books perpetuate the myth that success is relentless growth and more of everything means progress. They preach about bookkeeping and market research: things you might need to do of course. But let’s face it they’re fucking boring.
The Human Freelancer book is your antidote: stuffed full of emotional support and insightful advice for vulnerable newbies to self-employment like you.Buy it now