The ink is not yet wet on the contract, but I will be printing one out and signing it this weekend.
Last week, a journalist contacted me: Would I be interested in writing for a particular website? Sure, I replied, if they’re interested in me, I would reciprocate the interest. For money, he explained.
I was not listening to a vinyl record at that moment, but a needle scratched to a halt somewhere in the world just then. “What’s that again?”
I like to think of myself as a professional writer; in 2013, I built a platform out of nothing for myself, climbed on it, and started typing. This website is that platform. No one on Earth was waiting to read what I had to write about anything at all. No one was holding their breath. No one was relieved to learn that I had started to write again. Few knew that I used to write.
Being a disabled person who collects a tiny-but-steady income from our Social Security system means that I no longer need to do a few things:
1. Voluntarily send my résumé to some publication that I either admire or have never ever heard of in order to pursue a job that I almost certainly do not understand.
2. Spend the next few days hoping to be invited to be interviewed.
3. If invited to be interviewed, dress up or dress down (and almost always over-dress) for an encounter in which if nothing else, “first impressions are everything,” but when I am looking for a job, I do not make a good first (or second or third) impression.
4. At the interview, spend some time engaged in what tiny little bit I remember one ought to do to “positively visualize success”; thus, I “positively envision” (air quotes included) myself working with this staff for years and years to come, even imagine holiday parties at which I announce my impending nuptials to (I silently look around the office and at the faces I will most likely never see again except in my memories of another failed job interview experience) … her.
5. But, and this is a medium-sized “but,” at the same time, strive to keep my expectations in check and understand that I will probably never lay eyes on any of these people again, so I allow myself to imply out loud with my outdoors voice that I am considering and even being considered by other companies whose offices I have not yet seen from inside the front door. Was I keeping their expectations in check?
Because nothing is official other than the publisher sending me a private “Welcome to the team” message on Facebook, I can not name the publication for which I will start writing next week. It is a prominent and fast-growing progressive news outlet. I will be an independent contractor. Because I was invited to do this out of the blue, I said yes. I was not looking for a bigger venue than this website. The first dollar paid to me for my writing will multiply what I have earned for writing by infinity.
I will continue to publish on this website, sometimes links to my work at the new site, sometimes more “slice of life” essays and memory pieces, which are what I started out writing here on The Gad About Town in the first place.
This opportunity came because readers of the WordPress “Daily Prompt” kept encouraging me to write and publish every day starting in 2014. Many of you believed in me before I believed in me.
The WordPress Daily Prompt for June 3 asks us to reflect on the word, “Imaginary.”
Follow The Gad About Town on Facebook! Subscribe today for daily facts (well, trivia) about literature and history, plus links to other writers on Facebook.
Follow The Gad About Town on Instagram!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.