It started with a few simple questions. Then, before I knew it, they turned into a general knowledge quiz. Finally, it devolved into a full-blown interview. At first, I was relieved. Then, I was annoyed. Finally, I was furious.
The General Knowledge Test
For the first 10 minutes, everything was fine. They just asked me questions about myself and my family. Then, all of a sudden, they asked me about my writing career. Before I knew it, the conversation turned into a full-blown general knowledge test.
I answered all their questions correctly; however, I could feel my brain turning to mush. My heart skipped a few beats as well. I was relieved when the test ended.
I wasn’t prepared for a job interview. I had applied for an administrative assistant position at a law firm, but they contacted me for a conversation about the job. In the end, they offered me the job, but with one important condition: they wanted me to write a brief (less than 5 pages) every day for their corporate communications department. I would be responsible for writing press releases, marketing material, and other corporate communications-related content. I accepted the job, but I resolved to myself that I would not let this become a regular thing. Even though I had to write a brief every day, I would not let anyone interview me about my writing career. I knew that this would be a waste of time because they already knew everything there was to know about me. In the end, I hated it when everyone asked me about my writing job.
After 10 months of writing briefs every day, I got a call from a stranger. He introduced himself as Sean, the Head of Corporate Communications at a large legal firm. He wanted to set up an appointment to talk to me about my work.
To my astonishment (not really), he not only wanted to talk to me about my work. He asked me about myself, my family, my hobbies, and my dreams. Then, he told me that he had read my blog and that it had changed his life. Apparently, he had suffered from depression for many years and had found inspiration in my writing. He wanted to hire me as a freelance writer. He signed off with, “I’ll leave you with an important piece of advice: find a niche, build a following, and work your ass off.”
I didn’t quite know what to say. I had a few questions of my own, but I didn’t dare ask them. Instead, I said thank you and good-bye.
I was gobsmacked. This was certainly not what I expected my interview to be like. However, I wasn’t completely unprepared because I had encountered a bit of serendipity. A while back, I had interviewed with a large law firm and had gotten the job. My job had been to coordinate the logistics of their book club. Every week, they would get together to discuss a novel, and I would be responsible for making sure that the conversation stayed on topic and didn’t veer off into boring tangents.
For some reason, it had never occurred to me that my book club experience might translate to actual job interviews. Once I started work at this large legal firm, I quickly learned that there was more to it than meets the eye. For instance, I had to demonstrate that I could multi-task and that I had excellent organizational skills. I also had to have a keen eye for detail and be able to follow complex instructions. In the end, I was hired because they liked my ideas and wanted to see them put into action. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same thing about my writing career.
Why I Hate It When People Ask Me About My Writing Career
I hate it when people ask me about my writing career. To begin with, I feel that they already know the answer. When I first got my contract, I felt relieved because it meant that I would soon be able to put this unpleasant, yet necessary, part of my life behind me. Then, I promptly forgot about it. A couple of weeks later, I received a call from a stranger. She wanted me to write an article about my love for Harry Potter. I was taken aback. Had she followed me on Twitter or something? I asked her if she had seen my blog. She had, and it was the reason she had called me. She didn’t know what topics I would choose and was worried that it would be hard to find an article on that topic.
I reminded her that I wrote about Harry Potter quite frequently and that it was one of my favorite topics. Furthermore, I suggested that she could contact my publisher and ask them to send her a list of my upcoming articles. That way, she would have something to choose from and wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel. As a result of our conversation, she ended up writing an article about the Harry Potter series and how it had changed my life. To this day, I receive emails from Harry Potter fans who want me to write about the series in more detail. I always respond with, “Yes, I would love to write about the Harry Potter series in more detail. However, I already wrote about it quite a bit. Why don’t you read my blog?”
The answer is always the same. People want to write about my writing career because they think that it’s quirky or interesting or that it’s a way to get into my pants (or, at least, my socks). However, I don’t find any of this interesting. My writing career is very plain and simple. It’s just me and a computer connected to the Internet. In the morning, I come up with an idea for an article. Then, I sit down and write it. Sometimes, I send it to a friend for feedback. Then, I fix it up and submit it to a publication. Sometimes, I get lucky and my article makes it online. Sometimes, I don’t.
I’m not proud of my writing career. I’m not even particularly interested in it. I’m doing this because I need the money and it’s the best way to make a living. In the end, I don’t hate writing. I just hate having to write about something that I’m not particularly passionate about. I would much rather be writing about something that I love or, at least, understand. However, sometimes, this is not possible. If I had my druthers, I would rather write about sports or current events or politics. Not everything in these topics is readily available online, which makes it more interesting to write about. Also, people love to read about these topics and they often pay better than they do for an article about an obscure subject that they have little or no interest in.
If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re either a writer yourself or at least know one. If not, then maybe it’s time to consider pursuing a career in writing. There are plenty of opportunities out there and plenty of employers who would love to hear from you. Just make sure that you are passionate about what you’re writing about because, ultimately, this is what will determine the success or failure of your writing career. At the end of the day, no one wants to work with someone who isn’t proud of what they do. Even worse, there’s no guarantee that they’ll do a good job (at least, not until you show them what you’re capable of). So, make sure that you work hard, but also make sure that you enjoy yourself while you’re doing it. Otherwise, it will be a whole lot of hard work with no thanks in return. That’s not a good combination for anyone.