I’m not about to let anyone tell me how much money I can make....
I have been waiting to use this title (the cleaned up version) since last April when I heard it. I was talking to a friend of mine who is running her own business. She asked me how it was going with the job search since I completed my degree. I told her that the pickings were slim. There were only a handful of jobs that I really wanted and were right up my alley. I sent in resumes, and never received a call for an interview. There were a few “thank you for your application, blah, blah blah letters”. Embracing a career change after working 19 years in the insurance industry, I was faced with lack of experience in communications, and I didn’t have any professional writing samples. I told her about the various things I was working on and a recent job that I had applied for. For this particular job, I had received a response back asking for an interview, with the understanding that if I got the job:
- You are able to work M-F 8:30 to 4:00, with a scheduled 30 minute lunch break
- You are able to work occasional evenings and weekends to support organizational events.
- You are able to accept a salary no greater than $23,000 a year (that’s not a typo)
Before I finished with what else the employer wanted, she said, “Wit' all that talent YOU got? Chile, I ain’t finna let nobody tell me how much money I can make.” How I would love to put that on the back of this t-shirt and wear it 24/7! But I still needed a job. I wrote the employer back telling her that my son was graduating from Kindergarten in May and I would want that day off in addition to a week to visit my brother in July. She wrote me back and basically said she couldn’t “accommodate my needs”. To put it nicely...so much for that.
On my walk this morning (where sporadic publications are born), I decided to shuffle my playlist from songs recently added. About six songs in, my iPhone is playing Maya Neiada’s, Pressha. I have 955 songs on my iPhone so it takes awhile to get around to the new stuff; this was my first time listening to her. Maya and I went to high school together, so I’m listening to see if I can recognize the little girl’s voice who no one knew could sing. In my head I said, “Go Maya”. I listened to Pressha three more times on my way back home.
I had already established what today's sporadic publication was going to be about and after listening to this song, my thoughts were boiling over. On my walks I don’t usually pay attention to song lyrics, I get more into the beat and concentrate on my own thoughts. As Maya sang the words:
You can spend your whole life aiming to be the finest star up in the sky,
Work all day, work all night ; climbing up your ladder so high
You make it to the top and you find out its not exactly what you had in mind...
Concentratin’ so much on movin’ forward but you didn’t notice what you left behind...
That’s just a taste of what this song has to offer. You can purchase this one and others from mayaneiada.com.
When I met my husband almost 16 years ago, I was working a full-time job, I went to school two nights a week, did hair three nights a week and on Saturday's. If and when he asked what my hobbies were, I know I didn’t saywriting. It was probably around that point in my life that I became an “in the closet” writer. I was 24 years old, still living at home, paying off my car AND my “establishing credit” debt. I couldn’t see a future in writing, unless it was a book and I just didn’t have one in me.
Things start happening when you tell people what you really do, or what it is you really want. I have earned my first paid writing assignment, to do a January newsletter for a company and there’s more to come. It’s a great start; enough to officially change my Linkedin profile to Freelance Writer while collecting official writing samples along the way. When I told this to the person who connected me with this opportunity, she said, “When you get slammed with freelance jobs, don’t forget us little people”.
Here’s the thing...when I can tell my mother-in-law that I am a writer, then I will officially be out of the closet.
Sporadically Yours/Freelance Writer/Author (in the next year),