My creative attempt at hopefully finding a writing job.
I spent the better part of this past Saturday writing what I thought was going to be my next (free) blog entry. That piece of work is roughly a 2000 word document. As it stands now, the piece chronicles the first few real paying jobs I’d had in my youth… and while I might think it’s a good piece of writing, it isn’t even remotely close to being finished.
My original intention was to write a humorous tale that detailed the multitude of things I’ve learned from various positions I’ve held throughout my life thus far. The ultimate goal of the piece was to hopefully find someone out there somewhere who might find some type of value in me and possibly offer me some kind of employment.
While I may continue that particular piece at some point, (it might make a neat little book someday) it dawned on me that what I was creating felt like it had little to no chance of accomplishing what I’d wanted it to. I made a decision to put that piece on hold and write this one instead. While I hope it will be enjoyable to read, the only thing I can say for sure is that it is shorter, more efficient and infinitely more direct.
Hope it works.
* * * * *
I need paying work now.
The experience I possess as a 40-something year old male is… well… a hodgepodge of things including… but not limited to: driving things, managing people, cleaning, cooking, lifting heavy stuff, moving things, building things, installing things, fixing things… transporting bodily fluids (and parts), stocking, inventorying, shipping and receiving, customer service, slinging drinks, counting and handling money, maintaining industrial equipment, training, hiring and firing, and finally… being a not so secret government agent.
You’d think, with that deep of a well to draw from, one would have no problem finding a decent gig… but you’d be wrong. For one, I don’t have a college education. The reason I don’t is twofold. First, I never took school seriously enough to do well… and second, my father passed away right after my sixteenth birthday. That combination really killed any shot I had at any higher education.
When my dad died, I felt it became my obligation to look out for the best interests of my family. Having a job became priority number one. Child labor laws were less restrictive back then so it wasn’t too difficult to pick up enough hours to have basically a full time job… and seeing as how I felt like high school was nothing more than a cruel joke being played on me anyway… the decision wasn’t that difficult.
I feel like I should mention that I do have a high school diploma. I did graduate, and I did so on time and with the rest of my class. Admittedly I didn’t graduate a top student… not even in the upper half of my class. I think it’s important to note though, that collectively speaking, I did miss slightly more than an entire year of schooling between my sophomore and senior years… and somewhere there are transcripts to prove it. Every now and again I ponder that… and wonder “what if”, and where I might be today had I actually applied myself and walked down the school path instead of the one I chose. Ah the joys (and sorrows) of hindsight.
Another issue that I want to address is this. In the current physical condition I’m in… I’m not sure that I would even hire me… but let me explain. In looking back at the jobs I’ve had over the past (almost) thirty years, the stuff I think I’m qualified for, meaning most of what I’ve actually done for work… physically is a challenge now. My body is beat up badly.
I don’t want to make any excuses, but the fact of the matter is that for as well as I can maintain a machine or a building or grounds… I struggle greatly with maintaining my “self”. That probably reads a little weird, but hear me out. When I was a young man, I tried to do whatever was asked of me physically. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “you’re a big guy… why don’t you just pick that up/move it”… whatever. Ultimately I wound up destroying my back. I’ve had two spinal surgeries and while I am mobile, my pace isn’t even close to what it used to be.
If you also take into account that I have an intestinal disorder, suffered through a (recent) four year long battle with severe depression and also have high blood pressure and heart problems… you get the idea. A physical specimen I am not. While these are all issues that can be resolved… not having had an income for the past almost two years makes it an increasingly difficult battle. I can certainly understand why someone wouldn’t want to hire a person who moves slowly, needs to take frequent breaks and has to be near a bathroom for most of their waking moments.
The bright side to all of this (as I see it anyway) is that I’ve spent my non working time productively. I joke with people that I was amazed to find that the internet was home to something other than porn and Facebook. For easily the last year or so I’ve been on a personal mission to educate myself on whatever subjects I find interesting. While I’m not (nor do I think I will ever be) an expert on anything, I feel like I have expanded my knowledge base significantly. I’m not the smartest cookie in the drawer, but I think that somehow having an almost burning desire to learn new things must somehow be worth something?
Finally, and this might sound dumb… but up until recently I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.
The career I now covet the most is to be a writer. A paid writer. The problem is that I have no idea how to go about being the “paid” part of that equation. I’ve read countless articles (and a few books). I’ve attempted to communicate with other writers to pick their brain… and most importantly, I’ve practiced writing.
The only professional writing I’ve ever done has been in the form of business correspondence with one entity or another. My most recent employer asked me (outside of the scope of what I was hired to do I might add) to author a majority of the company’s business letters. In another job, I authored a sixteen page handwritten letter to a local news affiliate when a customer attempted (unsuccessfully) to pin consumer fraud upon us.
In the grand scheme of things, I know that isn’t a whole lot of professional experience. That being said, I can add that I’ve been approached here and there by different people who have paid me some lovely complements on various things I have written. Some have even talked to me about potential writing gigs… but as of yet, nothing has come of it for one reason or another.
All I know is this.
I’m to a point now where I feel like an abandoned car up on blocks out in a farm field somewhere. Not going anywhere and not doing anything other than slowly wasting away. My hope is that this piece of writing will be read by someone somewhere who’s just passing by. Maybe they’ll see something everyone else hasn’t. Maybe they’ll back up, hop the fence and take a closer look. Maybe they’ll kick the tires and check the panels for rust. Maybe they won’t see a broken down piece of junk… but maybe… with a little bit of love, elbow grease, patience and understanding… they’ll see something that can be restored to better than original… maybe.
It’s a long shot, I know, but as with all things, if I don’t find some creative way to pursue the dream… it won’t ever happen. For those of you reading this… think of it as a kind of resume. If you know someone or know of someone who needs a writer for something… have them hit me up. I’m willing to try about anything at this point to get my foot in whatever door might open.
The plus side for any potential employers out there is that I will probably come pretty cheap. I have no idea what industry rates are… but I’m ok with getting paid less, simply because I know I’d be starting out at the bottom. I also know that desire, while a great personal motivator, doesn’t equate to actual experience.
As far as things I’ve written, the only public writing I have is all out in the open for anyone to read on my blog. I’m not saying it’s great and I’m not saying it’s not… only that it’s there should anyone want to peruse it. I also have hundreds of files of unfinished pieces on a flash drive that may or may not ever be completed. Regrettably, I have lost or destroyed an enormous amount of personal content over the years, so I have nothing really to point to for substance, other than the previously mentioned blog.
*** I actually have a recurring dream/nightmare that the flash drive I mentioned will somehow be discovered after I die and somehow make me famous posthumously… which seems like it would be just my luck…
So hopefully this piece, weighing in at slightly less than 1700 words, will be a step in the right direction. I know it’s a bit like chucking message in a bottle out into the ocean… but at this very moment, I don’t know what else to do… other than close this out with a quote from Gloria Steinem which pretty much sums up how I feel.
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”
P. S. With fingers crossed, I set up an email account here for anyone interested in contacting me and possibly giving me a shot.
As always… sharing is caring.
You have my explicit permission to share my scribbling with whomever you like should you so choose.