Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Writer in the Workplace: the pen is mightier than the credit crunch

So once the money runs out writers have to find a job. That is the usual way to catch money from the swirling mists of the ether and solidify it into the very real figures of your bank account. Other methods incude bank robbery, selling one's organs on the black market and hanging around docks looking for lonely sailors. As I don't own a balaclava, am quite attached to things that share my DNA and get seasick, I decided job hunting would be the best course of action.

A few months before Christmas the warning signs were there. The usual doom, gloom, death and despair eminating from the newspapers had taken on a slightly panicky note.
"Oh heck!" said the expletive-censored journalists. "This could actually affect US!"
Jobs in the papers and agencies had dwindled to almost nothing. I had applied for a few suitable ones (ideally I wanted to work part-time so I could still write) but had heard nothing. I ought to mention here that with a Masters degree and a background in a local government fast-track management scheme I really should have been able to find something in a normal economic climate. I can Project Manage, for heaven's sake. (That's what the certificate says; it is just another term for being bossy in reality.)

Things haven't been that normal though, have they?

I had helped out some friends with small businesses in the past with general officey tasks: spreadsheets, research, flyer design and the like and wondered if there was much of a market out there for small businesses who didn't have the resources to employ someone full time for these sorts of jobs but were feeling a little over-worked.

So I designed a flyer.

'Do you run a business? Feeling overwhelmed? Let me help you!'
And then listed my useful skills. (I do have some, despite the degree in medieval history)

I dropped 300 flyers into office letterboxes around town and by 8pm that night had had four phonecalls.
"Help! Come in on Monday! We're swamped!"

And so Jenzarina had work! Being freelance I can set my own hours and still write. Yeah! I love writing. It's going much slower but I reckon it would be worse if I was living in a gutter, having been kicked out of my house for non-payment of bills.

Take THAT, credit crunch!


Alice said...

Loving your blog. Good on finding the work and glad you're still getting to write. Will keep reading. Alice

Liran said...

Love your blog Jen! Best of luck with the writing. Liran x

LL said...

I enjoyed reading your blog, am a writer myself and know the trials and travail that come with getting your work noticed.

Keep it up!