In order to boost sales of my expert writing services, I have cast the net, recently, into unfamiliar waters. Used to be, the phone would ring.
“Hey, Pam. Are you available to write a piece for us?”
I’d pitch my own ideas, in between the calls, and all would be well in the land of words. These days, of course, the phone is pretty quiet. Do it differently, then, I told myself not long ago. Do it the way you haven’t done it before. Flex with changing times. Stretch, twist, be happy.
So, I posted my resume on several writing websites, in the place where writers say they are available for assignments. It felt weird, out there, on its own with people, anonymous people. Not like a story in a magazine, or a newspaper. These people you know. Anyway, I forgot that I had sent my life story into the ethers until the phone rang while we were eating dinner the other night. Yes, the phone.
“Is Pamela there?”
“Who’s calling, please?”
“I saw your resume. Are you free to do an assignment?”
Wow. Just like that. No interview. No spec work. No writing samples. These online writing websites are super, I say to myself.
“What kind of assignment,” I ask, grabbing a pen from the kitchen counter.
“A script. Have you written scripts?”
“Oh, sure. I have written scripts,” I answer, encouraged. “What kind of script…industrial, commercial, film?”
Okay, not kids. No little characters with blueberries for heads or anything. Adult, sure.
“You have to write that kind of stuff,” he went on.
Oh…adult. I thanked Greg and hung up.
“Who is Greg?” my twelve year old daughter asked. “And what was that about?”
My twelve year old daughter has a unique ability to hear three words and know exactly what is going on in the rest of a conversation. I could say, “No thank you,” and she could state the parties involved, offer made, and impetus for my reply.
“He asked if I could write a script.”
“You can write a script. What kind?”
“An adult script.”
They didn’t know the term.
“You know, G, PG, PG-13, R….it is after the R.”
“Oh,” both of my kids said. “Ick.”
Last night, I went to a school meeting about the transition from middle to high school. The subject was extracurricular activities. The journalism advisor stood in front of five hundred parents and kids and promoted the profession as a wonderful career, a way to hone analytical and creative skills, express yourself, see the world. I was pretty much stunned, given the current state of journalism. I do not think she should have been allowed to say that, in order to attract students to her class. As much as I love what I spend my time doing, or try to spend my time doing, she should not have been allowed to say that.