I was at my gyno’s office the other day, and I had this conversation:
“What do you do?”
“I work two jobs and I’m going to school for English.”
“How long do you have left to go?”
“This is my last semester.”
“That’s exciting. Are you going to teach?”
At that point I wish the conversation would have just ended. But of course it didn’t.
“Oh, so what do you want to do?”
“I’d like to get into editing. I’d like to sit around and write stories all day, but I have to pay the bills somehow. I might do some freelance work too.”
That’s my standard response tossed with a little something extra. The freelance business is something I’ve never said before. But apparently that’s what I’m looking into now. It seems like something I should do, right? I like to write. I can bullshit things. I’m quite good at it. In a few months, I’ll have a degree to prove it. Also, cool people have done that. People that contribute regularly to This American Life. They travel all over to hunt down stories. I just wonder how that actually happens. I mean, how do you actually track down freelance jobs? I’m sure these are all things I should have figured out before I tell people that’s what I want to do. Not that an OBGYN nurse is really going to hold me to whatever I said while a doctor is examining my lady parts.
Anyway, this conversation is just one more addition to the pile of anxiety that has become my life. Is this normal? I’m assuming if it’s not normal, it’s at least not unusual. I’m sure anybody about to graduate with a liberal arts degree goes through this to some extent unless they’re headed for grad school or have some fantastic editoral position already secured. I used to think that business majors were sad people who had no passions to pursue. Turns out they’re just the smart ones who have a decent game plan. Their degree is an employable one. What the hell are liberal arts people supposed to do? Write academic papers on the true cult of feminity or Jane Austen novels? Nobody cares about either of those things. In fact, unless you’re in academic circles, you probably don’t care about what anyone with a liberal arts degree has to say. Unless you’re doing research for a freelance job, right? So maybe all those succsessful academic people can assist me in my newly declared freelance career.
Anyway, I don’t know what I’m freaking out about. A few years ago, I bought a book titled “The Freelance Writer’s Bible”. I never read it, but that should tell me everything I need to know, right?
Ugh. I’m sort of a moron.