Literary Bloodbath: Artful Healing

It has been a rough week for writers in cyberspace. The media have reported for the last few months that we are going into a double dip recession, and writers are really feeling it. Writers have been fired in droves at two major internet writing outlets this week. The article titles are also in short supply where I work as well. One writing outlet makes published writers go through an arduous application process where you send in your resume, compose a writing sample on a given subject and wait for months for the company to contact you. You then go through a training program with other candidates that lasts about 6 weeks where you learn to set up your own informational pages and to maintain them. The candidate with the most publishing credentials and best web pages gets the job. Then the writer has to continuously update his page. Then he gets fired. I cannot imagine how that feels.

However, if you are a writer, according to a study reported by Psychology Today, you may find a job faster if you write about your being fired woes. Supposedly, writing about the trauma decreases the stress felt by the writer and increases his understanding of the situation. The writer subsequently presents himself better at job interviews, increasing his chances at getting hired.

Yes, freelancing is a dicey business during a recession, but so is working in general. Gone are the 30- or 40-year careers spent at one place that my parents were used to. Sadly, Kodak, not just a Rochester NY corporation, but an institution, a virtual way of working life for the area, is on the brink of bankruptcy after many years of woefully being behind the technological eight ball.

The best piece of career advice I ever got was from my older sister when I was bemoaning my restless state at Stanford University. She told me to look at that experience as a stepping stone to something else. She’s right, of course. Big sisters usually are. 🙂 I have definitely learned to be a better writer; however, I’m not sure where that experience will take me next. Hopefully, not into the unemployment line… Actually, it won’t. Freelancers aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits.

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