The Writer Question, Revisited
I'm struggling with a massive cold/flu bug right now, so this might be muddled, but I need to get this out of my system. I even recently wrote to Hope Clark of Funds For Writers for her insight and opinion on the subject. She may be featuring this situation in her next newsletter, so if you're visiting from there - welcome!
Here's the skinny:
By day, I'm an educated paralegal (meaning, I have a degree and everything!). Well, I should qualify that - I've been unemployed since early April. I'm an Intellectual Property Paralegal (patents, trademarks, etc.), and let me tell you, the jobs in this field are few and far between. I've had some great interviews, but nothing has come to fruition. Here's the rub - I recently had a potential employer, I assume - Google my name, and find my personal website promoting my writing. Upon seeing my website, they decided that my "focus" was not on my legal career, but on my writing career.
While I completely understand their position, if they had truly read at any of the pages they would have seen that I've only published a few short stories (and self-published at that), and haven't even finished writing my first novel! As I told Hope, unless you see my face plastered on a bestseller in a major bookstore, I still need a J.O.B. to survive! AND - I'm a darned good paralegal too! I loved my job, and I love learning all aspects of the legal world. If anything, my interest in writing makes me a better paralegal!
I like to think that I dodged a major bullet with that particular employer. I don't think I want to work with a firm that doesn't allow for outside creativity, or even hobbies for that matter. It's not like I'm selling porn, or even writing in the erotica genre (no offense to those that do btw). I don't even use swear words in my books. Well, not many...
This situation makes my job search even more discouraging, because now I have to worry that my "web presence" will overshadow my need for a regular income, and a regular job. I'm a single mother, and I have a son with special needs. Once the unemployment runs out, which it tends to do, we'll be in even more financial trouble than we already are. That's pretty darned scary.
I refuse to give up on my dream of writing. It's in my bones. But my need for a job is eclipsing those dreams at the moment. Do I keep up my web presence as a writer? Just say "screw you- this is who I am"? Or take it down and stifle my creativity in lieu of a regular income?
Decisions, decisions... and oh yeah, more stress!!
Original Publication Date: 11/5/10