Maybe it doesn’t make you wonder, but it makes me wonder.
Although I feel I’ve actually done quite well in the earning-a-living-at-writing department, after eighteen months I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not – yet, anyway – getting the work quickly enough, and I need to get a job.
Accordingly, yesterday I went into Sault Ste Marie and applied for a position in a call centre. The one I applied to is supposed to be pretty good to work at, at least according to the two people I’ve met who worked there. When I went in, everybody I saw seemed cheerful and pleasant, which was reassuring.
I filled out the application and handed it in. The recruiter will be in next week and will give me a call. It was a bit of a letdown; I’m not sure what I expected, but since the sign outside says “now hiring”, I guess subconsciously I thought I’d be interviewed right away. Silly me.
At one time I would have considered this move a failure and been very down on myself for it. Now I realize it’s simply the truth of the situation for most writers, and most artists, too. You need something besides art to pay the bills. I’ve managed very well for eighteen months. If the economy were a little better, I might not need to take this step, but the fact that I do is not a reflection on me, my abilities as a writer, or my gumption.
Actually, it is a reflection, but not a negative one. It means I can face the facts and deal with them, that I have the realism and practicality to do what must be done to keep the home fires burning. For a beginning freelancer in a tough economy, with nobody else to support me while I get this business up and running, I’ve done very well indeed.
Here’s a short list of my accomplishments: four grants; a novel in its third draft and with an agent interested; a growing list of fiction, poetry and non-fiction publication credits; a book coming out in April; a monthly humour column and a biweekly blog. These are all things to be proud of.
But here’s what makes me wonder; since I decided, a couple of weeks ago, that I had to apply for work, and that I would do so, I’ve had a slew of articles to write for the Sault Star, including an assigned one (no, not mud-wrestling at the Bruce Mines Fair – the fair is over). I’ve been asked to apply for the editorship of a magazine. I’ve been asked if I’d teach some workshops. In other words, the work is starting to come in.
It’s almost like someone, or something, was waiting to see if I meant it when I said I’d do whatever it took. It’s happened before that when I follow through with definitive action, things – change. Something similar happened right before I met David.
I have faith in my own abilities, if not in the economy. I sometimes say, “There are so many things I can do that I have to be able to screw a living out of them somehow.” To my surprise, I believe that.
I’ll keep you posted.