Dat Writer Life (AKA Writing For Free and Looking for a J-O-B)

I’ve been trying to write this post for like, two weeks. 

How am I over here trying to be a legitimate writer, but I can’t even regularly update my blog? I know, it’s #FailFriday and I apologize. 

BUT… I’m here now and I’m writing. And as I’m no longer properly employed (an unpaid internship doesn’t count, right?), I have no excuse not to blog regularly. This summer, I will make it my goal. Along with, ya know, getting a full-time job.

Anyways… June was one hell of a month. I ended my job, which was bittersweet. I really loved working from home. I really loved that I pretty much got to build a sexual health youth development program on my own. I really loved the kids I worked with, even though their energy was a built overwhelming at times. But towards the end, I realized that I really did need a change from the sexual health realm. I mean, I’m so happy with the opportunities I found post-undergrad. For three years, I got to do meaningful community-based work. I realized I had a passion for something. I realized I was really good at something I never expected to be good at. It was a good time.

But I feel like I have to give this “I’m a serious writer who gets paid to write” thing a shot. Maybe I’ll end up broke. Maybe I’ll regret it. Or maybe I’ll really enjoy it, find my way, and be successful at it. I’ll only know if I try. 

Thus far, being an editorial intern with For Harriet has been such a great opportunity. I’m writing weekly. I’m writing essays, which I thought would be much more challenging than it is. I mean, I definitely experience writer’s block. But after three years of basically writing poems and Facebook statuses and nothing else, I was worried that writing longer pieces would be really difficult. It’s challenging, but it’s an enjoyable challenge. I love the excitement when a new piece of mine is uploaded to the site. I love reading comments and seeing how readers relate to and interpret what I’ve written. I love that people are finally engaging with what I have to say.

For the past two weeks, I think six of my pieces went up on the site. It was cool… until one of them made a lot of people angry. It was hard not to take folks’ negative responses personally. But I’ve realized something about the Internet: (a) people don’t usually read the entire piece; and (b) people love to troll the shit out of things. Even though the piece received hundreds of negative comments, it also received thousands of hits and hundreds of shares. So, even though people were calling it “bullshit”, they were also sharing it. (And thankfully, no one was calling my writing bullshit… just my opinions. I have no problem with people not vibing with my opinions as long as they think the writing is strong.)

Now that I’m writing regularly and have time to breathe, I’m feeling more optimistic about my job prospects. I recently applied for an editorial fellowship at BuzzFeed. Everyone knows I love me some BuzzFeed and this is the second time I’m applying. So hopefully, the second time is the charm! For a while, I was stressing myself out because I thought that people would think I was a failure if I were unemployed. And plus, there’s the whole money issue. But then I realized, no one really cares that much. And I was smart enough to save up money to last me for a good while, so I’ll be OK. Can I afford to eat out as often as I do now? Not in the least. But I won’t go hungry and I won’t have to live on Top Ramen, so that’s what matters.



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