Posts Tagged ‘freelance writing’

A Little North of Neverland

I’m with Peter Pan. I don’t want to grow up–it requires too much paperwork. I’m still at that wonderful interim called College, where I have a little bit of independence, a little bit of responsibility, but the parental safety net is still affixed firmly below my little balancing act. And it’s nice, knowing that if I actually need something, my parents are generous enough to help me out more than they already are. Thing is, I’m a proud person. I don’t like help. So I job hunt. And fail. Economy sucks, no one wants a waitress whose school schedule is as weird as mine and the stores around here close early. So I cyber-job hunt. I’ve followed my dear faja’s large footsteps into the minefield that is freelance writing.
BAM! Instant sense of TMI. Too much everything actually. There are so many things out there. You’d think that would be encouraging, I mean SOMEONE has to hire me, right? Wrong. All the sudden influx of information on the industry of the written word (and I don’t mean the fun stuff, I mean internships, editing, proofreading, blogging for business, the usual prostitution of skill that I’ve heard so many people complain about. The world of the Dreaded Day Job.) is really telling me is “You don’t know jack. Now go back to your cute little class room, write your paper on Paradise Lost and feel like you’ve done something productive.” And man, do I want to listen.
Alas and alack, college doesn’t last forever, and the sooner I start getting the hang of the professional world, the better off I’ll be. So I find something not too ambitious and click the Apply Here button. Whoops! I need a resume. Off I go to write my resume. Funny, I feel like I’m missing something under the experience header. I’m a writer, aren’t I? People have been telling me what wonderful skills I’ve had for years. So why does that area look so seriously anemic? I don’t think Mr. Employer is going to care what I got in my Shakespeare class, and citing my experience on my college’s paper feels curiously like dressing up in my mom’s pumps.
After a few emails to the dear old paterfamilias, and conferring with peers about the Evil Resume, I finish it feeling a little out of my depth. But I press on. Oh, time for a cover letter. What the fuck is a cover letter? I know this one, hang on! What I don’t know is how you are supposed to write a cover letter to someone posting an ad on BlogPro, or craig’s list, someone clearly anonymous. I delete “Dear Sir or Madame,” feeling like a third grader learning how to write a business letter and settle on Hello.
After wading through numerous internet tutorials on how to write a cover letter, I finish, click the send button and can practically hear the anonymous Employer cackling his ass off at my inexperience. Sorry, they didn’t teach us Internet Etiquette in Literary Traditions I, or Spanish 202, or even Media Literacy. Good God, I think everything I’ve learned about job hunting has come from the internet, Tweets, or my dad.
Commence beating head on table.
Okay, the people at Einstein’s are looking at me funny, so I’d better stop that. I’m suddenly flashing back to kindergarten, when I thought I would feel so grown up when I hit second grade. And then second grade came and I pictured third grade as the height of maturity, sitting on the braided rug around the teacher, feeling at last like one of the big kids. Third, fourth and fifth grade came and went, and as I went off to middle school, I was starting to feel like maybe I was growing up. I mean, I had a locker now, with a combination. Surely this was the epitome of maturity. And yet, by the end of the first week, I felt small and insignificant once again. I thought in high school that once I graduated, I’d feel and be treated like an adult. Nope. So I’m wondering, eventually I’ll be treated like one of the “grown-ups,” or so I hope, but do you ever really feel it? Does that feeling of playing dress-up ever go away? Or am I always going to be wandering about unsteadily in my mother’s pumps?