When I started this blog 6 months ago, it was entitled Will Write For Food (and perhaps dental). It was intended initially to be a tool for finding work in the general arena of writing. Quite soon, however, it evolved into a way to share my love of language and the self-deprecating title became a bold declaration that I have “A Way With Words”. I have submitted stories, poems, and narratives conceived here to journals (thus far without acceptance, but with some very favorable rejection). My readership has grown substantially. But it hasn’t paid the light bill.
Meanwhile, my job hunt continues. Yesterday, I had a very intriguing conversation with someone about a part-time adjunct position at a community college. If my graduate school course work translates well enough into the discipline, my chances of being offered a job are good. However, soon in our conversation, the chair of the department revealed more of what I’d be facing. Essentially, because of the new health care law, the college is reducing full-time staff to part-time and hiring “scabs” (like me) to fill in the gaps. All for just a little more than minimum wage.
This seems to be the trend at most colleges where I’d be eligible to teach, so I think I can safely say yesterday the door to an academic career was effectively closed for me.
This morning, I contacted my disability representative (who had called yesterday). As it turns out, my pension disability is coming to an end (in 2-5 months). Essentially, this will mean that my income will be reduced by about 75%. I can maintain SSDI – which my family lives on – and earn a supplemental $1,040/month for me to live on. Until, that is, I am declared “governmentally sane” and my benefits are fully revoked.
As I’ve prayerfully considered this, I have determined my best course of action is to do an internship (earning $1,040/month) in a field that might ultimately earn me a living wage (at least 40K/year). I have contacted a company which offers Technical Writing and Editing services and submitted a proposal. Over the next few weeks, I will be tirelessly sending out e-mails, submitting applications, messaging people on LinkedIn and making phone calls to enhance my prospects for employment when the benefits run dry.
Why am I telling you this (you ask, quizzically)? Well, my friends, you who have so faithfully followed (or trickled in along the way) can do your part in helping a prospective starving artist become gainfully employed and a contributing member of society (no longer among the Romney 47%).
How (you ask, in wonderment)? Three ways –
First, those of you who pray, pray (please). I strongly believe prayer impacts both those who pray and the world around them. We don’t always get what we want, but we do get what we need. (Didn’t the Stones do a song about that?)
Second, referrals. If you know of writing work in the vicinity of Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati or work that could be done on-line to help me move closer to a career in writing (and possibly generate some of the $1,040/month supplement), please let me know.
Third, guidance. Given the parameters I’ve set…. an internship earning $1,040/month that might be lead to a writing career (earning $40K or more/year), what jobs should I be looking at? Where do I find these jobs?
Perhaps you are a free-lance writer who knows a thing or two about selling your services?
Perhaps you work for a company eager to contract with someone who has “A Way With Words” to help market their wares?
Perhaps you have an Aunt Mabel living in the South of France looking to provide patronage for a seasoned storyteller?
Pray. Refer. Guide.
Let me know what you come up with. You can leave a comment (for everyone to see) or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you in advance. I’ll keep you posted.