Writing Through Recession
As aspiring writers, how many of us have been told not to give up the day job?
It is different when the day-job has given up on us, and sadly it is happening to more and more people with little chance of things changing any time soon.
In looking for a new job, or a career change, or further training, writing is one of the things that is often put on the back-burner. We say we will pick it up again when things have settled down, when we have some money coming in, when we have time, but it is at times like these when writing becomes more and more important.
We will face rejections from potential employers, our former support groups in work are no longer part of our lives, and it is easy to feel cast adrift, so anything that can be done to hold onto a sense of purpose is always a good thing, and there are many ways in which redundancy can lead to new opportunities that we never thought of before.
It is a time to take stock of your career, of your life, to re-connect with what work intruded upon. It is also time to think about where you want to take your writing career.
The world is full of far more publishing venues than it has had, and although traditional publishing is suffering in the current climate, other forms of writing are still available. More and more websites are looking out for writers, from web-sites looking for poets or short story writers, to cultural and entertainment websites looking for talented writers to review books or CDs, or theatres and films. These are an easy way to add to your writing portfolio,particularly if you like the arts.
Playwriting websites are also looking out for new material for webcasts, and it is a good way for aspiring playwrites to build up a showreel of fifteen minute plays, and this is also a good writing exercise, in writing to another person’s brief.
Websites such as Gumtree have opportunities for creative writers, as well as a jobs section, so a brief form letter to people on these sites can lead to new opportunities to explore. Many job search websites let you set up job alerts on their profile. As well as setting one up for your day-job, set one up for writing jobs as well, and apply for those jobs as well.
With Pubs and public venues closing down, many are now looking for ways to increase their custom and footfall. An understanding landlord may listen if you want to stage a spoken word open mike event, and attract actors, poets and other performers.
If there are any writing groups in your area, join them, go along to a meeting, see if they can help in anyway. It will also introduce you to writers, who can improve your writing.
Voluntary work is also a good source for potential work leads. Many charities are looking for help with press releases, or for writers to help advertise events and the charity. People with general office skills, are also sought after and some of these positions can lead to real employment. Alternatively, you could volunteer for something that is completely outside of your comfort zone, and then have something different to feature on your CV.
There are chances for writers out there, both in the real world and virtual worlds, so go out and see what is out there. Who knows, it could even lead to a brand new career that you never even considered months before losing your previous job.