Life experience

On Being Unemployed in Texas: Part V

After being laid off from a job in publishing, I find myself trying to regain my equilibrium and money-making potential in Texas – the strange land within which I am very much a stranger.

Work is hard to come by, so I decide to switch tack. I decide to not think of myself as an editor anymore; I should be a writer. I have of course tried that already. I have written journalism, chapters of novels, poetry, screenplays, erotic fiction. Only one of them made me any money, can you guess which one?

I have discovered a whole new form of writing: technical writing. Writing manuals and instructional texts. It pays much better than copy editing and, in a way, I’ve been doing it as part of my various jobs for the past ten years. As my newly minted, updated, and better-researched Writing Resume will attest.

So, I now have something else to type into job search engines. And people are responding. I’ve had a couple of phone calls, some sniffing around the edges. This could be just the change I’ve been looking for.

Still, the loneliness brings out a kind of cabin fever in me. I begin writing, but not sending, weird application letters.

Dear sir/madam

I am interested in applying for the role of Client Content Specialist, as advertised on Craigslist.

I am an experienced and dedicated freelance editor and writer, with nearly 15 years’ experience of working in publishing and the media. After living and working as a freelancer for lo these many weeks, I am very (very) willing to move away from the comfort of my home-office desk and into the real world, with real people to speak to, challenging projects to work on, and coffee to drink that’s significantly better than my own.

Your advertisement asks for a “grammar, punctuation, and spelling devotee.” Being English by birth and inclination, I’m comfortable with both the Queen’s and the Colony’s versions of the second-most-popular language on Earth. I am very keen on using these skills in a challenging and rewarding environment. I have worked with words, sentences, paragraphs every day of my working life. I have the kind of strong feelings about the correct usage of semi-colons and apostrophes that make normal people back away nervously at dinner parties.

If you’re looking for someone who cares passionately about language and the written word, then you’re looking for me.

Many thanks for your kind attention, and I look forward to not hearing from you soon, if ever.

Yours faithfully
Etc.

Someone somewhere has to be interested in that kind of thing. Right?

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