The fall out of “Hard for Money”

I’ve been pretty down after I read an article on paying writers: hard for money, in the winter 2014 edition of Overland (here are two other articles on the topic as well). It was upsetting because I have lived a lot of the reality being written about and I have found it depressing to my core to have little to no money given in exchange for the hours, time, craft and skill I put into each article I write. But this was also the exact, hard hitting, TRUTHFUL information I have been looking for, for well over 6 months. So I’ve been in a slump, realising how fucked I am, (having felt that to be true and now having it confirmed). But this just means I have to get another job (in a creative area I enjoy) to be able to live. Which was what I was working towards anyway. Yet I deeply mourn writers lack of rights and proper payment for work.

A few nice things have occurred that have helped me feel less chronic despair though. My memoir piece, which is literally a ripped out, still bloody, piece of my past and soul, is being published on the Feminartsy website this Wednesday. My interview through The Writers Bloc is being finalised and I should be going on air soon. I also got up the courage to ask about internship opportunities at Editia publishing and I’ve got back some very promising correspondence.

The reality of ‘the writing life’ doesn’t go away because of the good moments that bring me a sense of value, nor does the good outweigh the profoundly difficult, but they do enable me to feel hope.

you literally lose some and win some..

I applied for Overlands 3 months internship (starting early next year) and by chance, for their editing position as well. I spent a fair amount of time on those applications and suited the selection criteria pretty darn well (which is new and brilliant to me). I didn’t end up getting either.

I’m reminded that this process is slow with plentiful rejections, unanswered emails and dead ends, but there are also breaks. I got an unforeseen email that suggested that someone out there knows my work and thinks I am worthy of their time. I got an email from Duncan Felton about being part of the editing team for Grapple Publishing‘s second annual. It’s a fair compliment to be able to jump the application process and be asked to be a part of this project. This is just the kind of editing opportunity I need too.

I am much flattered and grateful to be offered this placement. It will certainly give me some editing experience and clout. But most of all, it might let me know if I like content editing as much as I think I do. Which is particularly valuable as I am considering a few possible shorter courses or degrees. If editing turns out to be my thing, then with a bit more training and some experience behind me, this could turn into a tangible, paid occupation; the holy grail I am looking for!

That’s a lot of, “if this goes this way, I might” but as any writer and artist will know, we live off the moments that give us even a snifter of direction and encouragement. I still have days where I am nearly in tears explaining how stuck I feel, or I’m being talked out of my relapse into embarrassment that I don’t have a job yet.

So I turn every opportunity and rejection into meaningful information about my direction if I can. I likely didn’t have enough editing experience or training to get the Overland jobs. That’s ok! Knowing this and being part of the smart Grapple editing group might help me get the next opportunity.

It all counts and has value.


I’ll keep you posted on the Grapple experience.