This week I am starting a new job. I am ghost writing novels for a publishing company. I am pretty excited, but this is a different pace than I have been traveling lately.
For the last year and some odd change, I have been working at an office supply store, while freelancing on the side. Which–my freelancing last year picked up quite a bit, I was surprised. I guess the pressure of a dead-end job made me look a little harder for opportunities. But, sometimes steady work is where you find it, and retail was where I found it after my former job as a writer for a news site ended.
I did retail with integrity, and gave it my best effort. Sales, I decided, is everywhere. No matter what you do, or what industry you work in, whether you work for yourself or for someone else, there will always be sales at some level. That is, because every business has to have customers.
And, to get customers, you have to get the them to want to buy your product…whether that product is an HP printer, the software you just created, the invention you just patented, or….your latest novel. Therefore, you have to know how to sell.
So, since life had me in retail, I decided I was going to make the best of it, and learn everything I could about sales while I was there. I learned…some. In all honesty, I probably learned a lot more than I realize.
But, once I really applied myself, I mean really applied myself, I found there was a pretty tight cap on how far I could go with the company. I spent the last couple of months banging my head against a brick wall, trying to grow in a company that had no room to grow. Then I had a really bad day, and barged into the manager’s office.
“That’s it,” I told him. “I QUIT”
I’ve always wanted to do that. I think everyone should get that opportunity at least once in their lives. Unfortunately, the manager didn’t give me the groveling response that typically accompanies the fantasy.
He mainly just nodded and said he understood. Of course, this was the was same store manager, who had admitted to me a few days earlier, “The job sucks. I couldn’t do it.”
Fortunately, I had another job offer on the table. I just was being picky with some of the terms. I think mainly because I was nervous about leaving the security of the job I had and jumping into an unknown opportunity. So, after my glory moment back at the office supply store, I got home, walked in the door, and picked up the phone.
“So does that job offer still stand?”
“Uh…YEAH,” they said.
And it was done.
So, now it’s nice to be back where I belong, done with the odd detouring, and not having to make excuses for my job. It’s nice to be able to tell people, “I’m a writer,” again. Although, I haven’t got to say that yet this time. For some reason, to me, that’s really important. I think it’s because I got caught out at a party one time. Someone asked me what I did for a living.
I was in between retail jobs at the time, looking for a writer job. Because full-time jobs as a writer come and go. It’s hard for companies to sell writing or make money off of it in any way. So, typically, they either hire writers for pittance, or they are start-ups, coming out of the stables with guns-blazing, ready to spend their investment capital to get the best writers they can find–damn the cost.
Then, they get into it, and realize that writing doesn’t sell, and they have to cut back or fold. So, here I was, looking to either dupe another entrepreneur, or stand behind a register. Either one.
But these people were successful, and I didn’t want to say all of that. So, I lied. I told them, simply, “I’m a writer.”
My conscience seared me, so I exaggerated my freelance credits into something much bigger than they were. I watched with guilt the faces of the party goers light up with approval. A few even shrugged with jealousy, and made up excuses for their salaried, mid-level professional jobs. If they only knew…
So I decided I was going to make it true. I don’t remember how long it took me after that to make it true. But it wasn’t long. I think I started writing for a PR company a few months later. I stayed for a year until the company folded…sigh.
But this new job is a little different than most of them. And I think it’s got some promise. It’s not a start-up. It’s writing fiction—which creative writing is my my forte than writing websites and news articles. It’s a full-time remote job, which, that’s actually my offfice in the photo above. The company has been around for a while, so I don’t think they are in danger of folding. So, I am super excited about this.
But, today, I have been trying to clean out my life, clean out my desk and get set for another adventure. I don’t know where this one where will lead, but I am embracing it for everything it is.