Experienced Writers Only

Recently I’ve applied for several paying content writing jobs. The problem is that you need professional experience to be seriously considered.  When writers like myself, who have not yet been paid to write try to find work, they are frequently rejected. I imagine the editors reading my intro letter and resume, as their eyes glaze over and their brows start to twitch.

I realize that anyone can call themselves a writer, and that untold numbers of people have their own blogs. Yet the whole situation is still frustrating. The utter lack of respect that you’re doomed with as a writer, unless you are a REAL writer, is disconcerting.

Since I’ve been seriously ill since childhood, and therefore unable to work, it’s tough to turn any heads with my inquiries for jobs. It seems that you need experience, to get experience, or something like that?

At one level I understand this, though it really puts me in a bind.

Part of my desire to leave Ashland and possibly move to Hawaii, comes from my reality. I don’t have a job. I’m on Social Security. I get financial help from my family. Theoretically I could work remotely, and live anywhere I wish to. Finding freelance writing work is proving to be elusive.

I keep trying, but getting kicked in the head repeatedly isn’t much fun!(Is my bitterness apparent?)

I’ve been looking into subletting places on the big island, in November, or December. I’ve found that is the best way to go. Much cheaper than Airbnb, especially if you plan on staying for a month or more.

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Yesterday I contacted a woman who was renting her jungle cottage, on a fruit farm in Pahoa, for $600 a month. I was thinking I must be cool, given that I had lived in off-grid housing for a month. I mean, I practically camped! Okay, so the house was custom built and gorgeous with amazing views, county water, and light filtering through it from every angle. I did compost, and live along with the geckos in the house. That must be worth something.

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We wrote back and forth quite a bit, and I was getting excited by the prospect of returning to the island so soon. I knew from the Craigslist ad that it had an outhouse with a shower and flush toilet. This worried me a bit. I never went camping as a youngster, and I tend to enjoy having a bathroom in my living quarters. I know I expect a lot! This place was large, in a lovely environment, etc.

I was getting close to purchasing airline tickets when I began to reconsider what I was doing. I asked the woman subletting this place how far the bathroom was from the house. She told me it was about 30 steps away. I replied, “Oh, that’s good, because I have to pee a lot at night.” I’m so glad that I shared this information with her!

Here’s why. She let me know immediately, that the toilet was only for pooping. “You pee in jars, and pour them on the plants that most need it.” She replied.

“Hmm.” I responded.”I will have to think about that.”

I realized then, how spoiled I am, when it comes to toilets that allow both poop and piss. I began to question how cool I truly am. And to wonder if I’m really going to fit into the lifestyle in Pahoa. I felt so grossed out by the concept of having bottles of pee all around me. I pee repeatedly through the day and night. My lip curled just thinking about it. Then I felt kind of bad for being snobbish.

I wanted to believe that I could live in the wilds of Hawaii without proper plumbing, and a catchment system. I learned that I was overestimating myself in that area.

I will continue to look for part-time work, and freelance jobs that suit me. I imagine I will eventually become numb to the rejection.

I also will continue to look into staying in Pahoa during the rainy season, to see if I can tolerate it. I guess I will have to spend a little more money, to get indoor plumbing…

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4 thoughts on “Experienced Writers Only

  1. Wendy, I’d lost track of you. I scarcely Facebook, but this popped up in my email. Hello! I hear you on the vicious circle of writing experience. I read that some famous writer (Dickens?) said that after he had wallpapered his whole room with rejection slips he finally sold his first piece. It gave me some consolation, tho in a weird way of course. I’d love to hear from you and might have a couple of suggestions.

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