Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Full Time Job

Let me tell you something...finding a job is a full time job and my husband is working it. 

He didn't even take Christmas Eve off, for crying out loud. Get this...one of his contacts left a voice message (the day before Christmas, mind you) with a number where she could be reached over the holidays if he had any questions. "Let me get this straight," I wondered out loud, "you can call and ask her any question? Well, then, I double-dog dare you to call her in the Bahamas on Christmas day and ask her at what temperature you should cook the turkey." He didn't accept my challenge (nor did he think it was funny) and that is precisely why he will most likely land a job before moi. 

Yes, folks, I am looking for a job. I've decided I want to write for magazines when I grow up. I haven't ruled out writing a book on my husband's job search. But while he in on a mission to find his dream job, I will be on a mission to find mine. And I'll take plenty of notes along the way so that eventually, when we are living happily ever after, I can write that book.

In the meantime, I want to freelance. It has a ring to it, doesn't it? "What do you do for a living, Laurie?" "Oh, me? I'm a freelancer." Wait a minute, technically am I a freelancer or a freelance writer? Freelancer kind of sounds like freeloader. Hmm. I'll have to look into that, as well as a few other things. Like, for starters, how do I go about becoming a freelancer/freelance writer? I've got my work cut out for me.

I spent the entire day yesterday and most of this morning researching and taking notes. I read about freelancing on the internet. I compiled a list of magazines to submit my work. And I worked on, well, my work. So now I have to decide how to market myself to magazines and then begin the process of sending out tens of thousands of letters so that I can get rejected by most and hopefully gain the attention of one or two. 

I really think that the unemployment angle is the way to go. I've been amazed and overwhelmed by the number of people who read my blog and send e-mails telling me how much they enjoy it. I think my adopted hometown newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, should pick me up as a columnist. I can offer a light-hearted, first hand account of what many of the Observer's readers are experiencing or are about to experience: being laid off. It is going to get a lot worse around here before it gets better (which means, Charlotte Observer, that my reader base will continue to grow...$$$$). For every person that is laid off, there is a family that feels its effect. And I am your gal to write about how these families survive the recession and job loss with humor and grace (well, maybe not so much grace). 

But, apparently the Charlotte Observer has no room in the inn for me and my insights. Personally, I think that they are missing the boat (and when I become a famous syndicated columnist I will try not to hold a grudge, but I am not making any promises). So now I have to decide which magazines to target. Where is the best fit for me and my prose? I'm assuming Reader's Digest might be a tough nut to crack. O Magazine might consider me until they check out my blog post on February 18th of last year. I don't think I have the street cred for the likes of Vanity Fair. But what about Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, More, Redbook...do you think they'd hire me?

Talk to me...suggest a magazine. And for the love of god, if you have a contact...send 'em my way!


Amy Christenbury said...

how about cookie magazine?

Leslie Knightly said...

Hmmm, maybe a business mag.?

My sister-in-laws dad is business writer and Editor at large at Inc. Magazine. I will send him a note!

Check it out Bo Burlingham is his name. Best of luck. You get my vote for being on the right path!

L. said...

Cookie? That's one of them there parenting magazines, isn't it? Hmm. Not sure they'd like my caustic, sarcastic style. What do you think? I've never read it...would they like me?

L. said...

Leslie you are on a mission! Your husband is going to find my husband a job and you are going to find me one! LOVE that! I will dedicate the book to the Knightlys....

Yes - I'll take any and all handouts I can get! By the way...I am going to send you an e-mail with Jim's resume.


Stacey said...

Honestly, I hate people who view unemployment as a good thing. It is not. It is a huge parasite to our economy. Who pays for it? The employers do (meaning I do) - it is a tax. If businesses have to foot the bill - well, guess what? They just pass it on to you and me. Remember, nothing is FREE and sometimes, although we might make fun of the Target or Starbuck's employee inefficiencies but at least they are earning a fair dollar.

Unemployment is a temporary social product that should be used to help a good employee who happens to be a product of an unfortunate event, get their feet back on the ground.

The questions should be, "What can I do to add value to the company?", "How can I contribute?"... NOT, "Who's going to take care of me?" "It's not my fault that the company had no money", etc.... Unleashing personal accountibilty will flip the switch - good luck!

Barry Lindenman said...

From one frustrated "wannbe" author with an accounting degree to another, here's my latest on-line article. Can you guess what the subject is?


L. said...

How cool is that?! I am so envious. I love that you have a passion...don't take it for granted, a lot of people do not. The camp sounds fantastic. I bet you were the fittest camper in the bunch.

And the writing is superb! What the HELL were we doing majoring in Accountancy? Do you have several on-line articles. Please share...how did you break in to it? Are you only writing about boxing? (not that there is anything wrong with that...)

Send me a newsy e-mail when you can. I have to go back to my job search...

Anonymous said...


What does that have to do with this blog? Are you just trying to make Laurie and Jim feel bad? Unemployment exists so that people will not starve when they're down. Remember: there but for the grace of God go you.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about the Southpark Magazine? The University City area has a magazine that my friend writes for. Does the Dilworth area have one? If not, maybe you can start one. Good luck! I sure enjoy your blogs.