Round and round in my head, I keep pushing against the fear that I’m not good enough to have everything that I want. Or worse, I am good enough to have it all, but I’m too scared to fight for it. That haunting question that I’ve mentioned a time or two, if you could have everything you’ve ever wanted tomorrow, would you take it? Deep down in my soul, I know everything that I want on a personal and professional scale. As much shit as I talk about being single and living by myself and all that, if I’m being totally honest with you, as honest as I am with myself in the middle of the night in my dark, empty room, I’d say that if I could draw my perfect life, it would, in fact, include a man that was perfect for me. Someone who would encourage me to do all the stupid shit I do now that makes me happy like swimming in quarries and kayaking with sharks unknowingly and driving until the car runs out of gas. He would know everything about my past, read everything I’ve ever written and be OK with it because he would know enough about me presently to know that I’m more loyal than a penguin to his soulmate. He would know that I require adventure to be happy and he would participate in my shenanigans. He would be someone fun and funny and he wouldn’t roll his eyes at me when I gave my last $3 to a homeless person downtown instead of buying the gourmet cookie that I wanted for three days that I solely went downtown to get. I don’t want to have to settle for mediocre just to make society feel better about me not dying alone. If I can’t have what I want, I’d rather die alone. And the same goes professionally. I’d rather die happy and broke trying to be successful at what makes me happy than to die miserable and rich, doing someone else’s work for them. Which brings me to this fear of mine. Last week, I answered an ad “Looking for Witty, Irreverent Copywriter.” I had searched Craigslist ads all over the country looking for freelance writing gigs. This one, I think I found in South Carolina. Maybe Florida. I’m not sure anymore. There were so many of them. I had responded to dozens of ads. Most of them were just click bait. I wasn’t sure that this one wasn’t the same, but it was well written and kind of funny and it linked to an actual website that was well put together and also lighthearted yet had serious info. The mastermind behind it is a motivational speaker/ runner/ author/ entrepreneur. I had pretty much given up all hope for the day, so I emailed the following back to the ad (the font on the email was fucked up just like the font in the following) and I didn’t give much extra thought to it after hitting send:
Dear He (or She) Who Holds the Key to My Future,
I am very interested in ghostwriting for your website and/or writing copy. My life mostly consists of writing and the occasional selling of my soul in order to pay bills, but you are absolutely right, I am searching Craigslist because I’m hoping to find that one in a million opportunity that I don’t have to “send money to make money.”
I’m 99% certain I have what you need to see to think that I’m good enough to join your club. And the 1% uncertainty is purely writer’s self doubt.
Raw amounts of hustle? I’ve got that. I will do almost anything to hustle in a way that leaves me with independence and not having to sell my soul in order to pay bills. I prefer that hustle to be a writing hustle. Sometimes it even comes in the form of making terribly inappropriate cards for really appropriate situations.
Writing samples galore? I’ve got them, but you have to pay for them. I wrote a fiction book once called The Nora Tree. It’s on Amazon. It’s pretty much female family dysfunction fiction. I don’t think that’s a real genre, but I’m working on getting it to stick. I also wrote a nonfiction book called It’s Going to Be Ok: A Nontraditional Professional’s Quick Guide to Parenting. That’s also on Amazon. I apologize in advance that I must charge for those, it is, in fact part of the previous requirement. If you’d like a free sample of my writing, you could visit my blog. It’s rouletteweekend.com, but I forewarn you, there’s probably way more information about me and what’s in my head than you will ever want to know, especially if you are considering being my boss. But if you must, just stay away from the ones marked with *** (those are also the ones my kids aren’t allowed to read).
Competence and passion… I like to think I’m full of both. A lot of people say I’m full of something else, but writing is my one true love and likely the longest relationship I’ve ever nurtured.
Witty style (that’s not too clever)? I do like witty and clever. I agree there is a fine line. I’d like a chance to work with you or for you. However you want to look at it. And if I’m being totally honest, I’m just starting to break into this whole “writing for other people” thing, so you could probably pay me a little less than a more seasoned vet (but not much less because I’m a starving artist).
I really hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for giving me a chance to show you how awesome I am. (And modest).
Two days later, I received an email saying that the email was fantastically written and he had already forwarded it to the team and he was going to see if they had a test project we could start with. I waited and didn’t hear anything until four days later, but there was no test project. It was an invitation to speak personally with the mastermind himself and the creator of the ad. So by time you are reading this, I will likely be on the phone on a conference call with the two of them and I am disgustingly nervous about it, which is crazy because if the opportunity knocking on my door was a 29 year old wanting to sex me up all night like I was 29, I’d be all in, head over feet. But when it’s a legit writing opportunity, I’m already tongue tied and have psyched myself out and have myself convinced that my true colors won’t shine through because I’m not as good at verbally articulating any point as I am a articulating it in writing. So all day, I’ve been rehearsing hypothetical conversations in my head with the hopes that I will seem clever, but not too clever or sarcastic and that I will be genuinely interesting. I’ve been binge reading his book and binge reading his blogs to get a feel for the style of writing that he gravitates towards. Luckily, it is not too far from my “say what you mean, but say it with pizzazz and entertainment” way of doing things. I wish I would have been given a project first, so I could have showcased my talents before fumbling over my words. I hate resorting to drinking, especially day drinking, because I never do that, but I’m thinking maybe a shot or two for breakfast will take off the edge and put me at ease. Of course I won’t do it, but it is a thought….. stay tuned.