There is a certain sense of desperation that I feel when thinking about getting a job. I have a few great strengths, but only one passion. A passion for writing. A passion I’m foolish enough to think I will be able to make work, regardless of the multitudes of impediments I’ve had pushed in front of me thus far and all those I can see looming in the future. Not even to mention the ones hiding behind those looming colossi. My intent in enrolling in a professionalism course was largely to make some of these impediments reveal their true, illusory forms. I don’t think that this has yet actually occurred as I have felt closer to a job-search related panic-attack when thinking about this course than I have ever felt while blissfully ignoring my unemployed state. Actually, a mental break down would be very nice right about now. A few months stay at a mental institution sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Or would order if I wasn’t so tragically placed on this side of sane. Unlike so many other writers that history is littered with, I have no extreme mental issues. Besides, no resort style electroshock therapy would help me find a job (though The Adams Family has taught me it will give me a great party trick).
This of course leaves me only one recourse. I must become a circus freak called “The Amazing Electric Lizard Man”. Barring that, I suppose I should actually figure out my options for getting a writing job. Be back in just one second, please hold.
Well, I think I just had my credit card stolen and I didn’t find a single thing that looked like an actual job or even a helpful tip. No surprise there, as I have been doing the same thing since 2008. That isn’t exactly true. I have discovered, through the help of the administrator of this most incredible and undeniably brilliant blog (here’s to hoping flattery is weighed heavily in the grade scaling) a site called HireOwl. It will only truly help those of us still in school as it is exclusively for students to find writing jobs to help build a portfolio. This is not truly the point of this blog entry, but I find it such an incredible resource I do not want to pass up the opportunity to yell its name from the heavens, or, barring my ability to afford a plane ticket, briefly mention it in a blog post on a moderately successful blog.
No, my purpose on this blog post is to discuss my career path. There is only one thing of which I’m currently certain. I want to write. I’ve had ADD for my entire life. Things like math, some sciences, and pretty much everything else becomes absolutely impossible for me without medication. Granted I have some tricks for dealing with not being medicated (drinking energy drinks for a person who has ADD is a great way to both control it without medicine and give you a heart attack) but two things have always stood out as things I didn’t ever need medication to do: write and read. Specifically in that order. I can not tell you how many Saturdays when I’m off my medication (to help it maintain its potency on the days I have class and really need it) and spent nine hours in front of a computer monitor with a cup filled with ice water that slowly becomes a sweaty mess of room temperature water. When I’m writing, no matter what I’m writing, I find myself pulled from my body into a weightless pool of creativity. At every step of the process I am enamored. I have a favorites bar filled with online references to each project separated neatly in folders. I have a wall filled with sticky notes for the old school book references for the same. I read a manuscript a dozen times before I let anyone read it. Then immediately go back and rework parts of it before they even have time to give me feedback. Wash, rinse, repeat.
What does this mean for me as a person who has the unfortunate weaknesses of needing to eat, drink, sleep and have some modicum of comfort? Not to mention being spoiled to certain forms of comfort. What does this mean for a man like me who is utterly addicted to money? It means I have a few career paths to consider. Each more adventurous than the last. As I’m writing this I cannot help but imagine being a little kid looking pensively up at the ceiling thinking about what he is going to be when he grows up. In all honesty I still feel like that kid.
I could be a script writer. It is something I’ve always dreamed about. I actually have, in my many experiences, found writing in groups to be a fun and unique expression of my craft. Different people offer different perspectives on what should happen. Characters come so much more easily into three dimensions with input from others in my experience. “Sure she can be a strong woman who don’t need no man, but that’s no reason she can’t also be a penguin,” one co-conspirator might suggest. “Or that she’s in love with the chaplain, but his papal duties forbid him from ever requiting that love,” puts in another. As mad cap as this can get, it also leads to some of my favorite things. Doctor Who, Firefly, Scooby-Doo, all have a multitude of writers that produce work very quickly and in crazy environments for the sake of the craft.
I could be a critic. I’m most critical of my own works, but I’m also critical of others. I have high standards and low expectations. As with many things with me, this aspect seems quite the paradox. Some of my favorite bloggers are critics. The only piece in the newspaper I read on a regular basis is a critic. I wake up to Zero Punctuation on YouTube. I always look at critics not as bearers of bad news, but as simply bearers of some way to improve myself. Anyone who criticizes non-constructively isn’t a critic.
I feel like the field is still too wide to find anything I really would like to do, though. I feel inexperience weighing on me. All I know is whatever happens, I’m going to write.