Fresh out of talent, aisle 17?

I’m losing my ability to write. Yep, I said it. I’m having a crisis.

Remember that initial meeting I had with David? And how I got my first assignment? Well, all of that was fine and dandy. At first. My assignment was to go to a new bakery, get an interview, set up a photo shoot, and write a short story. The day after I got the assignment, I went to the bakery and did everything I was supposed to. I was pretty much done with the assignment 4 days in advance! Go me!

Wednesday was my deadline, at 3 p.m., but I read over my story one more time, and sent it around 9 a.m. I have a knack for meeting deadlines with time to spare. Thursday, I received yet another freelance story for a different magazine, that was due Friday, so I was busy with that and hardly noticed that I never heard back from David.

I tend to freak my shit when I don’t hear from people—in dating and in my professional life. But I tried to keep a steady head, and think, if he needs to contact me about the article, then he will. But when I didn’t hear back from him Friday, I figured I should double-check and make sure he got the story to begin with.

I’m sure you know where this is headed. I SENT IT TO THE WRONG FUCKING E-MAIL.

How? How does this happen, you ask? Because I’m a fucking idiot, that’s how. Of course, David’s e-mail contains oddly placed underscores, like this:

Goodass_Gold_@isuck.com

I forgot that last underscore. And yes, I got a failure notice, IN MY SPAM BOX, which doesn’t show up on my brackberry, therefore, I never fucking saw it.

So I did the only thing I knew to do—send him the most unprofessional e-mail ever at 9 a.m. Friday. “Ummm FUCK. I SENT THIS TO THE WRONG EMAIL HERE IT IS DON’T HATE ME.”

He, of course, didn’t believe (even though I forwarded him the original threads with the wrong address) since we’d talked through e-mail before. I completely understood, apologized, and he said he would run my article, just later since I missed the deadline. So I figured I was in the clear, I just really needed to get my shit together and make sure my next stories were in on time.

In an effort to suck up, I promised him I would be at the Sunday night writer’s meeting. Naturally, the magazine office is on the other side of the city, and I didn’t want to put on actual clothes to get there, but I did. And when I showed up, the meeting had already started.

OF COURSE IT HAD!

“Uh, I’m sorry, am I late??” I asked.

“Well, I don’t know, but that’s okay, Lucky, grab a seat,” David said.

Thankfully, I was okay from then on, came prepared with story ideas, and walked away with two assignments. “Okay,” I thought. “This is my second chance to kick some ass.”

So Monday, on my day off of work, I decided to get a jump start on one of my articles. It required me to drive 20 minutes out of the city to get a face-to-face interview.

While it sounds simple, I need you to know something. I hate going to get interviews. Once I get there, I enjoy myself, and I like hearing people’s stories, but I’ve never ever wanted to be a reporter. And that’s what I feel like when I go to these interviews.

I call my interviewee when I leave my place and tell them I’m on the way. An hour later, I arrived. That’s right, a FUCKING HOUR later! I couldn’t find this damn place to save my life, I wanted to cry, I was terrified this guy was going to say “Nope, you know what? Fuck you and this damn magazine, I waited for you all day.” Thankfully, he didn’t, I got what I needed and am done with assignment #1 a week before it’s due.

I know you, and most of my friends, are wondering why in the hell I give a shit. Why does it matter if I impress this guy or write for his lame magazine? Truth be told: my ego has taken a huge hit. Ego is a huge thing for a writer, you need it, but sometimes it can really bite you in the kuca.

To make a career as a writer, just like most, you have to pay your dues and shovel shit. Which I’m fine with. But I’m starting to feel like I’ve been shoveling shit for too long, now. The real problem is, there is still shit to be shoveled. My stories aren’t perfect, I’m lazy with interviews, and I can’t pitch a pair of boots to an eskimo.

And it took a douche in a Jesus belt buckle to show me that.

Some of you know I just finished writing my first book. Now, I’m shopping for an agent. While that sounds like a barrel of fun, I’m starting to question myself—am I really good enough?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill myself. I’m going to kick ass at this next deadline and we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’m halfway through detox and FUCK could I use a glass of red.

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8 thoughts on “Fresh out of talent, aisle 17?

  1. You’re a good writer. You’ll be fine.

    Things come in 3s, so I think you got all 3 and will be good from here on out.

  2. justmarriedgirl says:

    Lucky, you are a superwoman. In a way, Jesus Belt kind of set you up because he expected you to screw up. That is nerve wracking. It’ll all smooth out when he sees you’re a great writer. And consider this: you’re making things happen for yourself. I’ve been writing my entire life, and I have a completed manuscript, and I’m too afraid to do anything with my work bc I think I suck!! If I could freelance, I’d love it, but I’m just not brave. You are. Be proud of yourself!!!!

    You’ll show up Jesus Belt one of these days.

    • I don’t understand WHY you won’t move forward with that manuscript, silly lady!!!

      The answer is always “no” until you try. You’ve got nothing to lose!

      And thank you for the kind words 🙂

      -L

      • gina says:

        I know. I think the process just intimidates me. I started my book proposal, but each time I work on it, I get overwhelmed. Then, there’s the whole agent process, and that is scary, too! I guess I just have no idea what I’m doing!!

        But you’re right. If I don’t try, I will regret it.

        Thanks for your advice. 🙂

  3. Gina,

    Get yourself a copy of the 2011 Guide to Literary Agents by the folks at Writer’s Market. You’ll find it in the reference section. It explains the ins and outs of the publishing world, tips and tricks to your proposal/query, and a complete listing of hundreds of agents.

    Good luck!!

    -L

  4. Catherine says:

    Sounds like you are just having a bit of bad luck. I hope it improves… I hate when I turn something in early and something goes wrong with it. I consider myself to be very reliable and when I let people down, it really gets me down. It sounds like you are a lot like me. Sometimes I just have to give myself a break. No one’s perfect, people make mistakes, and all you can do is your best. At the end of the day, if you did your best, that’s all that matters.

    • Thank you so much, Catherine. You are right! I think I need to let myself off the hook way more often, but it’s hard to just let it go sometimes.

      I think things are looking up, but you’ll hear the updates next week!

      -L

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