Mar 13, 2012

Crumbs

I know this blog is supposed to be about trying to make my dreams come true, but tonight I'm wondering if mine have crashed too many times.

I've been searching for a job for over year now, rarely getting nibbles. And when I do, oh, does my writer's mind create a life for me. My most recent involved an internship at a good company, who hires 68% of their interns full time. I was gonna get a position as a copywriter intern working for their blog this summer and commute with a high school friend, and then get hired full time, and move out. My life would get rolling and things would be good.

You know, until I get a call this afternoon saying sorry, no internship.

And hey, I had a moment of sadness, but then I was over it. Just like rejections from markets, you move on to the next one.

But then dinner with the family came around, I shared my news with my parents, and they went on this whole triad about how they're sorry, they know I wanted it, had been counting on it (I'd been through two phone interviews and submitted writing samples, been in contact with this company since October, and live near by). My response, I shrugged, told them there's no reason for them to be sorry as it's not their fault, and continued to do what I was doing.

But then they pointed out I should be feeling down, I should be upset, and I'm not. Not really. And it makes me wonder if I've just seen too many potential plans form and fail. Oh, I'll still keep building them, I need to be published after all. But so many dreams have crumbled and I'm used it to. Used to it. I'm fucking used to dreams and plans falling apart to the point where I don't really care anymore. How sad is that?

I have my writing though. Or did. Until my father pointed out that I probably didn't get the internship because they didn't like my writing. And for case study I had to do for an interview (different company) that he read over, he didn't like my writing either. And hey, I understand there's a difference between business and fiction writing, but writing is my life and what I hope to make a livelihood out of, I apply to jobs where writing is a heavy task. And when some who's opinion really matter tells you your skill aren't good and maybe you should pursue a different path, that hurts. A lot.

Because I don't have any other skills other than writing. (And thanks Dad, for not suggesting one to me either) What the fuck am I suppose to do with myself now? How can I build a life on nothing? My other interests also revolve around the arts, and whoa, a Fine Arts degree is totally gonna help me more than a Communications one. *rolls eyes* And no way I can be a teacher for life.

I feel absolutely lost right now. *bitter laugh* Like I hit a brick wall and was shot through the wing at the same, and am now lying on the ground looking for something I can use as a splint.

Sorry, so sorry for rambling and ranting and swearing and dumping all this stuff. But the nights been awful, it's late, I'm all hormonal, the house lacks good chocolate, and these stupid tears are just now drying as I've finished this post cuz writing has always made me feel better in the past.

Usually, as right now I can't bear to work on any of my WIPs like my normal catharsis outing. And I figured that if I disappear for a while you guys should have a bit of a reason.

13 comments:

  1. I wish there was something I could say to help. :( I think everyone goes through a time like this, where everything seems lost, and you can't work out what to do next.

    If writing is what you want to do - don't give up. Shake off the criticism, and try again. :)

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  2. Never, ever give up. Everyone has times like this where everything seems hopeless, but you need to hold your head high and say, you know what, I am a writer, and I'm a damn good one too. It hurts when family say tough things, they do it because they know they have the backing of unconditional love!

    It can be hard to keep your chin up, and if you need to take the occassional day when you stay under the duvet then do it, and emerge like a butterfly tomorrow.

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  3. Oh Gwen, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way.

    Sometimes life is sh*t. Perhaps not caring about the internship is your way of protecting yourself. Maybe next week you'll be throwing chairs around. Maybe it'll mean you'll just keep looking and applying, and one day the right opportunity will land on your doorstep.

    I know these words aren't much comfort now, I'm sure the chocolate would be better. Take care *hugs*

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  4. I know I can't say anything that will make you feel better, but I can give you a hug xx

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  5. Gwen, it's never a bad thing if you have more fortitude than others might in your situation. I admire that you were able to shake off the crumbling of your hope for that particular job. It's a pity your dad couldn't have said, "I'm glad you're facing this with such calm determination" and "with an attitude like that, you're sure to find your way, dear" instead of what he actually said, which seemed like a needless put-down.

    Having a strong suit in writing does not mean you should only look for jobs with "writer" in the title. A lot of non "writing" jobs actually require strong writing skills. Being able to articulate a point is a major asset in any career.

    That said, I agree with what the others have said before me. Don't give up!

    If you were to stop writing at all, that would be the only tragedy. Do whatever you have to do make your daily life work so long as you never stop writing in your free time. And I say this as a writer who's worked at McDonalds, in data-entry jobs, in substitute teaching, and so on, just to make ends meet.

    Professional positions that involve writing sound wonderful because-- well, they involve writing! Of course!-- but the good ones are incredibly hard to break into. You need a stunning portfolio and years of experience at similar positions. (Whether or not they like your writing style is important.... but it's just one of many factors).
    The writing jobs that are easier to get tend to pay in pennies, and provide little or nothing in the way of security (my friend writes professionally and wakes up every morning wondering if his company will go under), and those are exactly the kinds of companies that employ writers with little experience. It's "a writing job" so you're supposed to be thankful that you even have the job, but you'd be better off working in an office or a classroom or . . . almost anywhere else.

    The other danger in having a writing job is that it can actually leave you with no energy/creativity to do your own private writing. Surprising though it may seem, it's really good and important for a writer to always be experiencing things that are OUTSIDE the computer and AWAY from the desk. If you found a job that got you outdoors or interacting with people, you could end up acquiring a lot of experience and enrichment in other areas of your life-- social, emotional, physical, out in nature, etc. which, in turn, will make you a stronger writer.

    (to be continued...)

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    Replies
    1. (...continued from above)
      When you are choosing a job to apply for, don't ask "is this my calling?" or "is this what I am meant to do for the next thirty years?"...you will give yourself nightmares. Instead, ask yourself "will I get something out of this (if only my daily bread and rent money)?" and "will this enrich me?"

      Getting an entry-level job is less about what skills you already have (everyone who graduates college is on an even playing field here); it's more about determining whether or not you are a responsible, industrious, and reliable worker who will do something you don't particularly like for a paycheck. And it often has nothing to do with your lifelong career. You don't need to plan your whole life right now-- just the next six-to-seven months.

      This is also a numbers game. My fiancée applied to 25 different companies over the space of a single month before she found one that would take her to Japan (which was her dream). The winner was a crap company that treated her terribly. But it got her closer to the life she has now-- so, landing that pile-o-crap job was one of the best things that ever happened to her, to use her words. (I just thank god she quit it after 7 months).

      I am working as an English teacher right now. Is that my ideal job? No. I happen to love it, but there's other jobs I'd probably love even more (like... teaching astronomy, hahah). Nor do I intend to teach English forever. But it's a wonderful way to support myself and leaves me with plenty of time and energy to come home and churn through the next chapter of my WIP.

      I wish you luck, dear. Feel free to drop me an email if you ever need a pep talk (I'm on Google+).

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  6. My first thought reading this is how subjective the writing industry is. If someone doesn't like your writing (or if ten people don't) it doesn't mean there won't be that one person, the right person, who will.

    When you're in the middle of something it's hard to see past all the sh**. But I bet you'll look back at this experience next year and say. "I'm glad that happened, it made me a better writer."

    No need to be bitter, and no need to give up your dreams. Dreams are fragile things that take time to make. Look at all those movies/books out there where the character faces insurmountable odds and achieves their dreams anyway. You are just in the middle of your story, and someday there will be happy ending.

    Don't give up. I believe in you!

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  7. Ugh, Gwen! I want to kick your dad right now for saying that to you. I know he probably meant well, but please people, don't say that to a writer. x_x

    I feel you on the job hunting. I'm not looking for writing related jobs, just a part time job to help hubby with bills and every place I go to, especially the ones that past jobs give me loads of experience for, I never hear back. It leaves me wondering how could I get passed over when previous jobs showed I'm qualified! I just turned in a job app to a coffee shop and even though I've worked in a coffee/deli/bakery shop before and have experience, I am so downtrodden that before I handed the app in, I was certain I wouldn't get it.

    My fingers are crossed for both of us.

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  8. Sending you strength. One thing that comes up for me as an elder (I just turned 50) is that it is hard to see how the big picture is impacting one's own life at times. The economy is a wreck and you are looking at a time when so many others are. I tend to take things personally but I do not think there is anything personal about the difficulty you are facing. Writing is a passion that keeps burning. Just ask me. I am finally making the time for it after getting two (!) masters degrees in different fields. I think I kept going to school for so long because someone else made me write for assignments! Now that I am making my own assignments it is scary. Maybe no one will ever want to publish my quirky writing but I have to write. You clearly have to write too. Your blog is writing. Your WIPs are writing. Writing is not only a product that we consume. I don't mean to be a lecturing old hag here...just wnat you to see that you are in the midst of things. Your family's response is probably based on fear. The fact that you keep picking yourself up is beautiful. Keep writing, even if it is on scraps of paper. Measure success in ways beyond outside recognition. Keep dreaming. Take all of our advice and throw it out. Get a job that gives you flexibility or not...Just keep writing.

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  9. Post grad life sucks. I am not looking forward to life after grad school next year :/ But I have no doubt that life has something big and something good in store for you. I love you and you ARE a good writer. On top of that you are so active in working on yourself, improving your skills and creating opportunities. And parents suck sometimes, don't let that get you down too much. I believe in you!!!
    - Your German

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  10. I'm sorry to hear about the job Gwen. It's really tough out there at the minute. In any career/job opportunity world. I think you need to deal with any rejections in whatever way gets you through. Keep at it and one day those dreams will come true.

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  11. Oh, Gwen, don't be discouraged. Lick your wounds for a bit then pick yourself up and carry on. Every kick makes you stronger in the end. Hugs.
    (this may not be the right time to tell you I just tagged you on my blog...)

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