Falling Down the Freelance Hole

“Mostly, though, young freelancers are people who realize they are unemployable and therefore need to do something to pay their bills, even if it means you get treated like shit.” Alida Nugent, Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse

I have no real skills. At least that’s what I assume employers unanimously voted one evening at a “Kendra Cannot Possibly be Hired” event. As we talked about months and months ago, a “real” job has never been in my grasp. A cascade of commission-only, seasonal, contract and freelance jobs have been my existence since becoming an “adult” AKA graduating college and not wanting to live at home because I’d rather chew off my left foot than depend on my mother again; for her sake and mine. It’s not that I hate my family, it’s just that someone my age should not live with their parents, even if the struggle is real and ya’ll – it is.

At this point I have applied to almost every job under the sun, and have gotten very little response. My resume screams “this bitch can only blog about pop culture,” and in no way do employers see that freelance writing takes an insane amount of organization and discipline, no matter how much I stress in my initial introduction with resume in hand. With that, my hobby of putting words down has become my means of making a living. I didn’t have this epiphany of sorts in college or even my adult life like, “Writing, yessss this is it. I will write the next great American novel.” Nope, I simply loved to write as a kid and when no one would hire me to even work at Urban Outfitters (I applied to two different locations), writing went from something I liked to do to something I had to do in order to you know…exist with a roof over my head.

Today I’ve been writing for food for four years. That’s not counting the two I wrote for the mere joy of it to fill the void left by graduating and not having homework anymore. Sometimes your hobbies will remain just that, simple delights you do outside of work that make you smile in your off time. For people like me, your hobbies become your only source of making it in this world, and dealing with it. I mean, this sounds like I despise the written word, but oh contraire…Yes, writing has gone from my hobby to the thing I depend on for food and shelter, but it’s also become my therapy, one of my best friends, my comforting hermit hole.

You know the type of people I cannot stand? The ones who say they hate people but then are damn social butterflies who flutter so high you wish they’d hit the sun. Now, I do not hate people – I just don’t like to be around them in large hoards. One, two, three people at a time and I am fine but a large group and I will shut down and think, “Where is my chair, where is my laptop, why can’t I just be home with Frasier Crane?” I do not need people, a lot of them, in my life BUT I love people on a level of study. Their actions, their stories, their existence is what continues to drive me to write and in some ways, writing keeps me connected with a species I am in, but on most days do not want to be around. Writing about celebrities and pop culture is fun, but writing about people, learning more about someone you scroll past on Facebook every day – that’s what makes writing as a source of means less of a job and continues to keep the passionate flame burning.
I have no skills. Which is what most who view my resume must think since my call back rate is lower than the lost city of Atlantis, but what I have is a hobby I was able to make work for me in a way that keeps a roof over my head.


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