Nope. Still not over it. Still not finished with feeling that the world is a little bit happier place because of that wonderful Wedding on Friday.
Also, all this past weekend I had to catch up on bits of that fabulous Wedding that I missed on Friday because, you see: I HAVE A JOB (and I couldn’t spend the day in front of the TV like I wanted).
Yes, I HAVE A JOB. A full time, M-F, 9-5 JOB.
It was several weeks ago when I was totally exasperated about the noodling persnickety moronic corrections I had to make to the Damn France Book that I wondered if book writin’ was all I was good for. I’m not exactly loaded with useful talents but this book was killing me and I thought, “Is there an easier way for a writer to make a living?”
Which was totally hypothetical, since I don’t really “make a living” writing books. But I was ready to either convince myself that this was all I was good for SO BUCK UP, or maybe there was something productive out there that I could do instead of screw up the French and English language as is my wont.
So I googled Writing Jobs on Long Island and this job listing popped up, posted just 40 minutes previously, and it sounded too good to be true but I sent in my resume. I had an interview on Thursday during which I heard myself say, Yes, I could start on Monday.
Voila: I’m a professional, M-F 9-5 writer.
I haven’t mentioned it until now because, well, I haven’t left the house in about five years and I wasn’t sure I could hang with the M-F 9-5. But it’s been over a month and so far — so good! I LOVE it!
Every day, I write three or four 300-word press releases for a national professional organization HQ’d on the Isle of Long. On any given day I might have to write about the Dean of a prestigious New York University who wants to announce a recent award for a research paper, or the bio-chemist working on next-generation cancer drugs who just got some elite laboratory rating, or a lady who sells Star Trek memorabilia who just opened an annex to her Jedi Emporium. I never know. It takes all kinds: I’m endlessly intrigued by how many different ways there are, out there in the USofA, to find purpose and fulfillment, meaning and individuality in work. It’s very inspiring.
I sit at a desk and I write. Then I go to the next assignment, and I write that. And then I go to the next assignment, and I write that. I look through the bio for a catchy headline, I read the C.V. to shape a narrative, I do research so I understand what the heck I’m writing about (I had the person in charge of supply chain for the ballistic missile defence system and I had to look up every other word in that resume), and then I compose 300 words that I’m proud of.
And then I go to the next assignment.
I’m the senior writer of a staff of three — senior in experience and by about 30 years. I work with recent college grads — journalism grads — whose skills and work ethic are a bit unformed as yet. But my boss (this is absolutely true) saw that I was having some challenges coping with the hearts and minds of 24-year-olds and she gave me a very helpful pamphlet called Working With Generation Y.
Suffice it to say, Gen Y was raised in such a way (constant praise, undeserved self-esteem, rock-solid belief that what they don’t know isn’t worth knowing, etc.) that they still expect to get medals just for showing up.
But enough about them — this is about me! I thought I’d give you all a look at a Day in the Life of a Professional Writer.
Here is where I go to write professionally:
Oh, sure, it looks like a big non-descript office building, but that’s only because it is.
Here is my desk, where I sit facing a beige wall so I can concentrate better on my professional writing:
I tried brewing tea using micro-waved water for the first week. Now I have a nifty thermos that I fill every morning with Assam and vanilla sugar, and I bring it to work with my own tea cup and sweater. I’ve never worked in an office that wasn’t too damn cold — and this place is not exception.
Our office has a lunch room — a nice, full-size kitchen with small cafe tables and chairs. But I need a little get-away, so I do what a lot of my co-workers do. I go to the off-site lunchroom:
Also known as my car.
Yes, I slouch in the back seat, put my feet up, and sit in my own cocoon for an hour.
At first, when I heard that this is what people did during the lunch hour I thought Jeeze, that’s so pathetic.
But now that I’ve given it a try, I rather enjoy the weirdness and Americanness of it. And I really like the privacy.
Because, now that I’m out of the house, and Top Cat is miles away, I can indulge in my favorite lunch without having someone (husband) judging me:
This job is fate. It lets me use my writing ability to tell other people’ s important stories, which is the best use a writer can put her words to.
But also, since the whole thing was such a fluke — I wasn’t actually looking for a real job so much as looking for proof that there wasn’t a real job out there for me — I knew I had to take it. Only twice before in my life has the perfect job come my way so randomly. And both jobs were experiences that totally changed my life.
So I knew that there was now way I couldn’t not take this job. I don’t know what’s in store for me here, but I know I’m here because the universe wants me here.
And I’m A-OK with that.
Anybody else out there ever have the perfect job fall into place? And did it turn out PERFECT?? Or are you still hoping for a second chance?