So today I spent a decent amount of time searching the web for jobs and reading about writing. It depressed me. Did you know there are writing jobs that pay like THREE BUCKS? TOTAL? Oh, good god. Honestly, and please don't think I am being too arrogant, but my loading the washing machine and unloading the dryer is worth more than three shitty bucks, much less composing some piece of prose for that. I understand, I do I do I do, that so so so so so many people want to be writers, and the supply of talented people will always be more than there are jobs. But jeez. I'm not 21 years old and sharing an apartment with three other knotheads; whatever I do now just has to pay a bit more than the cost of a gallon of gas. TWO YEARS AGO.

But how do I make money, doing what I do? I just don't know. So many of the writing jobs out there are for technical writers or marketing for hospitals or gas companies or insurance companies. I know I could do these things, but they mean no more to me than pumping gas or selling insurance or sweeping the hospital floor. At this point in my life, it only makes sense to do something that I really like and that is unique to what I can do. A job is a job is a job. I'd like to try to shoot for something higher, if I can.

I honed in on a site where writers who do short form creative nonfiction hang out. I thought OOH! now we are getting somewhere! Yippee, maybe I can come up with some leads or ideas. I read some of the published stories from a few of the writers, and I got sort of sad again. This was "writer's writing," what I find to be overly-crafted, self-conscious, and ultimately rather fake-y. I am too conscious of their perfected word choices, their flowing, flowery metaphors, the evenness of each paragraph. It is writing that other writers in a writing class would ooh and aah over, while secretly thinking that they could do even better. Sigh.

Not to say that what I read was bad! It surely was not, and of course I appreciated the talent in each little essay. But none of them really spoke to me, or made me feel anything, and certainly didn't make me smile or laugh or cry or think about their words after I left them, as beautifully composed as they were. There was no connection. I could not feel the people behind the words, only their schooling. In works of fiction, you absolutely MUST develop your characters to where they are believable, so that one way or another the reader will care about what happens to them, enough to finish the book, anyway. When you are writing primarily about yourself, your life, your experiences, what has to happen is that people are drawn to just you. I don't know if that is something you can craft. I think perhaps it is more that you can send out something that is honest, people can relate to you in some fashion, and that whatever you have said that day is good enough for people to want to hear more from you the next day.

Damn, if I could write and get enough money to pay for, like, a tank of gas and a week's worth of Starbucks, I'd be pretty happy! Maybe a new pair of jeans, too.