Monday, April 21, 2014

So you're a writer and...?

I've been away from you, blog. I'm trying to be an adult. Frankly, I don't care for it, but we've all got to grow up at some point, right? How stupid.

Anyway, because I can't seem to get my hands on any Xanax today and I'm one dizzy spell away from an anxiety attack, here I am.

Yep. That's what adults do.

So I'm working at a tech company now and it's pretty soul crushing. I'm hunting for a new gig but I've been taking copy editing classes to move out of writing and into professional editing (because writing and editing go hand-in-hand and I don't know how to do anything else) and I thought that it was going to be so much easier to get a job as an editor. I mean, let's face facts, you guys--all of my skills are solidly entrenched in the realm of the unpayable. This results in my dedicated need to be the best goddamn unpayable writer/editor that I can.

The problem is that everyone thinks they can write and edit. You know what I'm doing right now? Buh-logging. This isn't writing. (Actually, it's really just whining.) But my point is that I wear a completely different hat when I write and edit. My mind is in a different space. A space that I've trained and educated myself to find when I am tasked with writing useless crap that I don't care about because I'm a professional, for the love of Zod.

I've been applying to a lot of jobs with writing and editorial resumes that I have honed for the past 10 years, but inevitably the form rejections that I get are because I don't have peripheral experience in other industries.

"Oh, so you'd like to write for our restaurant section?"

"Yes, here are the relevant clips of other restaurant writing and food editorials that I've done."

"Do you have any formal chef training?"

"Well, no, but you're not looking for a chef, you're looking for a food/restaurant writer."

"We're looking for someone who has been to cooking school, or has worked as more than just a line cook, who can also write and edit."

", Anthony Bourdain?"


"My understanding is that he already has a job, and probably some professional writers and editors helping him out."

"Thanks for applying!"

This follows for so many industries and it's hard not to take it personally. Essentially, the skills that you've worked to perfect are just an add-on for other people, so the battle will always be uphill. We need a professional writer who has also been a real estate agent! And a makeup artist! And do you have experience climbing Mount Everest? Because that's what we're looking for!

And then, occasionally: This position is unpaid for now, but will be a great opportunity for you to see your name in print.

Welcome to adulthood, you guys. I hope you have some Xanax.

1 comment:

  1. adulthood, its the bees knees! if youre ever in the need of xanax, just send up some smoke signals and ill have my private jet fly some right over. mailing them would be illegal. i think...