A number of exciting things have happened on the career front these last few weeks! The first is that I picked up a part time freelance job, with the potential to turn into more after I graduate in May. Last month, I emailed a fellow MFA grad who stayed in Wilmington, yet appeared to have found some way to clothe and feed herself. I asked if she had any tips about tutoring or freelance work in the area, and she was incredibly generous and helpful. I'm still pursuing one of the opportunities she mentioned (more on that later, if it pans out) but another tip has already resulted in an introduction, interview, assignment, and paycheck!
I'm working for a woman in town who does marketing for local small businesses. The bulk of my work will be blog posts, newsletter articles, and website copy. I never speak to the actual clients, and my name doesn't go on any of the work, which is fine - while I've enjoyed writing the posts, but I prefer to reserve my name for my literary work. So far, the assignments have been easy (I've been writing for the Internet for a long time, you know), the woman I work for is really nice, there's the promise of more work down the road, and the pay is extremely decent. Best of all I can work from home in my pajamas, which has been the goal all along. Needless to say, securing this side job is already a huge relief.
The second exciting thing actually happened when I was visiting my parents for Christmas. I asked my sister, the wedding photographer, if she would take some head shots for me, since the most professional photo I had at the time was a little too, how shall we say, Valencia. We had a photoshoot at our parents' kitchen table, and you can see some of the photos and hear the story behind them on Susan's (gorgeous, stunning, and full of eye-candy) blog. (If you live in the tri-state area and are looking for a photographer, CALL HER IMMEDIATELY.)
Then I asked her boyfriend, who is very good at the Internet, if he'd be willing to make me a simple website. While I love this blog, I wanted a more professional presence on the web, and since Derek has already made websites for Susan and our father, asking him for this kind of help is turning into a family tradition. He obliged, not only designing me exactly the kind of website I didn't even know I wanted, but also making me business cards to match.
The best part is that I have my fancy website, my fancy business cards, and my fancy head shots just in time for the AWP conference in Seattle at the end of this month. BUSINESS TIME, Y'ALL.
I'm joking around a bit about all this, but if you'll allow me to be sappy for a moment: it means so much to have these things, as narcissistic as they may seem. It's no secret that I'm dreading graduation and the ensuing job hunt that will come with it. The economy in Wilmington is shaky, opportunities are few and far between, and the majority of my friends will be moving away in May. Dark times are ahead, and I'm doing my best to be hopeful. Having a website and business cards gives me hope. Seeing my credentials, my publications, my CV, and my head shot gathered together on a website makes me feel like a person with skills. A person with possibility. A writer, if you will. So thank you, Susan and Derek, for giving me a little hope, and for making me look so good. It means more than you know!