Writing for nothing is a dilemma. And that includes blogging and all forms of social network communications. Perhaps “nothing” should be defined; my definition or yours? First mine, you can give me yours in a comment. Nothing, as used in my opening sentence, means not getting paid, specifically, no monetary compensation, for your labors as a writer. For it’s money that’s needed to pay the electric bill that runs this computer I’m using, the lights for seeing in the dark, the cold for the fridge and the a/c; the heating bill, phone, car, grocery, and all the other expenses one needs if you’re “living the American dream,” or trying to live it.
Job opportunities have been far and few between for me since around 1997, when I was downsized from a pipeline company (El Paso Natural Gas). Those were the “good old days” when I was getting paid close to $20 an hour. I could afford to buy just about anything I needed or wanted. Need. Want. Two words that allow greed to flourish.
Does a college degree make any difference? One in English/Writing? Sorry, but no, it doesn’t. At least not in my chosen career field. (Tip: High school grads, don’t choose English/Writing as your major!) “Chosen career field,” I think that’s a misnomer because you rarely have the opportunity to choose your career. For those of you who’ve been able to do so, congratulations, you’re “living the American dream.” For the rest us, it’s still just that – a dream, a hope (want/need?).
I’ve been writing about gardening for around seven years, mostly in weekly articles for a couple of hometown newspapers. It pays, a little, and I really enjoy doing it. Outside of those two writing “jobs,” nothing I pursue ever materializes. I submitted an online application for a garden writing position recently. It actually paid well too. I included what I thought was one of my better pieces and my resume. Sometimes it takes a few days or even weeks for a response so I was somewhat surprised to get an email from the company after only a couple hours.
Needless to say, I was rejected. Some rejections include an explanation; the one for this particular writing job stated that since there were so many writers “out there” strict guidelines had to be used in order to filter out the good from the not-so-good. It doesn’t feel so good being not-so-good.
Anywho, I suppose I should include a report on the Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’ GROW project, since I’m a participant. I gave up on the one I had growing and trailing out of a pedestal planter, it just didn’t look good so I snipped it off without regret. I’ve not made any special climbing apparatus for this particular variety. The term “nasty” is used by some when referring to nasturtiums and in my opinion ‘Spitfire’ has lived up to that moniker. It didn’t qualify at all for a trailing or drooping vine, but since it’s supposed to climb I reckon a disqualification as a cascading or trailing plant won’t count in the final analysis. I have several other ‘Spitfire’ clumps scattered about and I’m particularly interested in three that I planted in rocky, almost hardpan, clay soil. They’re growing, but will they flower?