Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Gentle Reminder of a Truth

Scott D. Parker

Well, that didn’t go like I thought it would.

If you remember last week’s column, you’ll know that I find myself between day jobs. This is a first for me and, frankly, it consumed many hours of the week. When I mentioned this to someone, she said that looking for a job is, in fact, a full-time job.


I have lots of feelers out right now. Each one of those feelers deserve a sincere cover letter. I know a fellow technical writer who copies and pastes the same content into each cover letter. Not me. I analyze the job description and write the letter with my qualifications for the specific job. I’ve actually had a couple of jobs that initially looked promising until I dug deep into the qualifications and realized I wasn’t a good fit. I didn’t even apply. But I applied for other jobs this week.

I monitored the job boards. I spoke with recruiters. I monitored various websites. Just like my friend said, I conducted a full-time job finding the next job.

Which means I didn’t write much this past week. Yeah, I know what I said last week. I imagined myself waking at my normal time and devoting each morning to my next western. That didn’t happen. Actually, the mental energy I expended to finding the next day job completely sabotaged the fiction writing. It was rather irritating.

But there was a moment when the real writer in me emerged.

On Wednesday, I published my review of the last Richard Castle novel, HEAT STORM. In writing that post, I was in the zone like I hadn’t been before. For a few minutes there, I was me, my keyboard, and my Mac. The review rushed out of me and an effortless flow. I enjoy writing reviews and seeing if I can show folks why I love a certain thing. And I really love the TV show “CASTLE” and the subsequent “Nikki Heat” novel series.

The same muscles I use to write all these posts are the same ones I use to write my fiction. Because, let’s be honest: our fiction is transportive. We take our readers on a journey through our imagination when we weave our yarns. Something similar could be said for cover letters. They are meant to sell a potential employer on how well a potential worker could fit into their system.

Writing that review jarred loose some of my writing paralysis. It wasn’t that I had writer’s block. Far from it. I just wasn’t allowing myself the time to write. I wasn’t allowing myself to engage in one of most natural activities I do: write. Day job, night job, writing is what I do. It’s what I’m good at; it’s the talent that inside of me, and I’m at my best when I can use it to write blog posts, stories, novels, and, yes, ever cover letters.

Not having a full-time job is worrisome. As I think about all the potential jobs I could do, this week was a gentle reminder that, in addition to all my personal attributes, I love writing and I’m good at it. And when I write, I’m using the God-given talent that’s ingrained in me. That gentle reminder was all I needed to get back on the fiction writing wagon. And I’m driving it with a full team of horses! My characters better buckle up because they won’t know what’s coming!

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