April 27, 2010 | By: Tracy

Will Write For Food

So, this morning I had an interview for a real job.

Now, before anyone starts jumping on my case, let me clarify. I DO believe writing is a real job . . .  but only when it starts paying some of the bills.

Until it helps cover part of the rent - or at least lets me afford a quick vacation to some place tropical - I consider it a passion.

Today, I had an interview for a position I'm really hoping to land, and believe it or not, I think my recent manuscript drama may have helped further my cause.

One of the big responsibilities of the new position is to have a good eye for proof reading. In fact, before my interview I had to go to a temporary agency to have my skills efficiency tests done. This time Excel & Word brought a friend along with them. Proof Reading.

I had to go through a "letter" fraught with errors, fix it up and make it purty. 68 errors to be found, I was told - though I forgot to count *slaps forehead*.

So all those months of reading over my manuscript with tireless detail paid off. (Would consider it an even better pay off if I get agent representation, but I'm working on that)

The only DRAWBACK, was fighting the urge to re-word things to make the letter sound better. The directions implicitly stated not to do that, and it was sooooo hard to resist. I'd spent months learning how to make things sound more fluid, it was torture to leave bad writing in the letter.

I guess when you train a monkey, you have to take the good with the bad. ;o)

13 witty remarks:

Saumya said...

Way to be optimistic and use your skills in different situation! Love your blog background; too cute!!

Saumya said...

Also, hope it's okay that I'm following you now!

Matthew Rush said...

That is so polite to ask if it's okay to follow. How refreshing.

Anyway Tracy that's awesome. Best of luck landing the position.

arlee bird said...

Great! I've been out of work since last March and things are kind of bleak around here right now. Hope it all works out for you.

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Terry Towery said...

Ah God, the work dilemma! I'm right there with you. Paying the bills? Fulfilling your lifelong dreams? Ying or yang? Yikes.

It sucks, not knowing if our passion for writing fiction will *ever* pay off. I suspect it will for you, so I'm hoping your *real* job is only temporary. ;

Shannon said...

Good luck with the job. Hopefully it works out well. :)

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I hope you get the job! That's so funny that you say that about wanting to reword stuff. During my first year ever as an in house editor, I had organise the reprint of an already exisiting book. There were a few error that had been missed the first time. But, there was this one paragraph that I thought sounded really clumsy and wanted to fix it.

Me, thinking that I'm gonna get gold stars for intiative, went to my boss, feeling proud and smart, and suggested the changes. I said, 'I don't know who wrote this but I think it would be better if we worded it like this: blah blah blah. My suggestions were met with a cold stare.

'holy crap what have I done?' I thought to myself.
Then she said, 'I don't think that will be necessary, Jessica. Just change what we originally agreed.'

Me not wanting to step on any toes, said fine and went about my business. I asked a colleague of mine what the deal was with our boss, and she informed me that she had written the book. Ouch!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great post! I hope you get the job, Tracy. You sound more than qualified. :-)

P.S. love the monkey

Shelley Sly said...

Okay, dude -- as you know, I've been on vacation, so this is my catch-up comment, okay? :)

1) Congrats on the partial!!!!!!!!! (See those exclamations? This totally deserves them. Haha, that reminds me of your comment on my post about the adjectives -- thanks for that, it cracked me up!) Please keep us updated!

2) Best of luck with the job! It sounds like something right up your alley, as a writer, and I hope you get hired!

:) :)

ModernDayDrifter said...

Good luck! I'm sure it'll all work out for the best! :)

Kaylie said...

Hmm, after you get the job, you'll have to do a post on "how to turn off your internal editor."

Tracy said...

Thanks, Everyone, for wishing me luck!!

Saumya, I got the background from hotbliggityblog.com. lol They are much more creative with the backgrounds than I am. And it is absolutely okay for you to follow!! You're too cute for even asking.

Kaylie, you're right. I could get myself into the issue of re-awakening my internal editor. Doh!

Jessica, Ouch! I could sooo see myself doing something like that. Of course with my luck, I'd wind up with a boss who found some other reason to fire me. Though, it's not your fault she was a clunky writer.

Lee, good luck with your search. I know all too well how tough it can be to find something right now.


This is such a cool story, I love it! I really, really hope you got the job. I think anything that involves reading is a great day job to have. I really liked the way you told this anecdote as well. From a purely story perspective, I felt on the side of the "underdog" and rooted for her/you. Thanks for this brilliant post--it's one of the reasons I love commenting--for honest, fresh, self-revealing posts like this.

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