Google+ Followers

Monday, 24 November 2014

Stringers Attached

It's an instant conversation killer, saying that you're a freelance writer. Usually I get a noncommittal--nonetheless nice--smile. Other times I get nothing. After all, that can't possibly be a career. No one makes money writing little "stories" right?
The Journalist's weapon of choice circa 1949

Well, not enough, I have to clarify. I do this other things, too. A job that is more of a "job" in said person's mind, and their attitude changes from one of incredulity to one of general approval.

In truth, I would probably feel the same way had I not met the nicest freelance writer in the world when I was at Wayne State University. He took a writing class with me. His writing was solid, though he confessed a fear of writing from imagination, which complicated things since it was a fiction writing class.

Afterward, when we had gone our separate ways, I ran into him in the library. I was researching medieval castles for a novel I had been working on for two years, and am yet to finish! He was looking up possible jobs.

"You seriously find work this way?"

"Yep. This is how I have always been paid."

It seemed incredulous then, too. Then I never entertained the idea of being a journalist. I was yet to read "Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail '72" or "In Cold Blood" or "Travels with Charlie" or Hemingway's work with the Toronto Star.

That was years ago. Now there is the karmic simplicity of having to explain myself to those who don't understand, who do not see my job as a real job.

And I revel in knowing that I can now find myself on Google. Then feel sad, thinking that I hold that as some kind of standard of existing.

That's all from Elliott at the Kitchen Table, getting ready to bust out the Cranberry and Goat Cheese. Happy Thanksgiving.