I've been writing essays for a long time. I started when I had my babies. The hormones or something. Plus I had something to write about, I felt, babies.
Had blogs been around in early 1980, I might have tried to boost my copywriting career by writing a blog, a blog about working as a copywriter in a radio station. But that would have unfolded pretty much like WKRP in Cincinnati.
Despite the poisonous back-stabbing atmosphere of the place, I loved the job. And I liked lots of the people. I just made the mistake of working too hard. And then I burned out.
When I gave in my resignation one of the more stupid Account Executives came to say goodbye and he said, "I could never understand you. I'd come with a contract and it was clear you were too busy with scripts piled high to the ceiling on your desk and you'd still say 'Just put it there, I'll get to it, instead of winging a sharp pencil at my head like the other writers in the room.'" The thing is, he said it as a criticism!
The guy who got me a the job died a decade or so later; an uber talented writer/actor/singer/playwright with nowhere to put his talent, not in Montreal. Not then. Had he just been able to hold on though... things might have been different.
That's how I feel. Hold on. Some technology will come up that will suit my style.Even though I know that new technologies are best used by 10 year olds, who don't have any life experience, or anything to say, not yet, but hey.
Back in 1997, my husband subscribed to AOL, the day it came to Canada. Not for the kids. No one was saying that kids needed the Net, back then. He got it for me. He said it would give me a place to put my writing.
And it did. Right away I got a writing job, a paying job. On a parenting website. But then the young Ivy League entrepreneurs who owned the site realized they couldn't make any money.
Eventually their website was folded into Oprah's group of sites, Oxygen, and then that died, I think, anyway.
I wrote a number of good essays for this parenting website, for 100 dollars each I recall. Eventually, I 'gave' them all to a small Canadian parenting website, run by one woman.
It was a decent website and she was a nice woman. Her site eventually got purchased by Canoe. And now my essays are on their website. I emailed her back when she sold the site to Canoe and complained that I did not give my essays to a big conglomerate so they could make more money. She replied, "Well, you can contact them, but they are very very big."
Eventually, I posted most of my essays on my own website, www.tighsolas.ca/page489.html
In and around 2000, I wrote some articles for Today's Parent, for good money and you can still find many of them on their website.
Be careful what you write, because it is never going to go away.
Some of the essays, penned over a decade ago are still relevant. Others are outdated, especially the ones waxing philosophic about technology.
One essay I wrote, indeed the FIRST essay I submitted to that AOL parenting website, is about banning the tv from my home s an experiment in family togetherness. The article has often been published in certain English as a Second Language Textbooks that are used around the world. Even though teachers like the essay, it had to be dropped. What family has ONE TV anymore. What kid watches TV programs on a TV anymore?
And yet, just last year, an author published a book about banning MEDIA from her home.
So, some things change and some things stay the same.
The thing about Today: NO ONE uses the word FEWER anymore. It's LESS all the time. No. Not that. No. Something else.
Here it is: opportunities for writers have increased exponentially over the decade, except there's no money in it. Hence the Huffington Post paradox or Catch 22.
If I could only go back in time and write that blog about working in a radio station, in a small windowless room (filled with other people's second hand cigarette smoke) with one of those blow up sex doll hanging from the ceiling over my head ...and the British TV movie critic comes in and asks in his snobby critic voice, "Does this screw doll come with two or THREE working orifices?" He asks this, trying to be funny. (He sort of is. We came to be friends.) And tgetting to meet an iconic local DJ from my teen years to find out he is a misogynistic and very angry jerk! "He tells me "See that guy over there? He has a huge dick."
And beging introduced to the gorgeous FM secretary as she was being bent over a desk by the BIG Boss, a broadcasing icon in Canada "Here's another one for you," she tells him, as she deflects his attempted his furry mustachioed kisses away from her porcelain like face with her forearm.And that's just on my first day.
The head of my department spends the day banging down the receiver up on his wife on the phone, yelling 'Bloody Bitch, " after each callm so all can hear. He died of AIDS a few years later, at least I heard. He told someone he hired me because the other candidate smelled like she had her period. But that goes against another rumour about why I was hired. Apparently, the five foot nothing Sales executive was aroused when seeing my 5 foot 11 self. Another rumour was they wanted to hire women as the men writers were too hard to handle.
Years later, when the boss left and I was going through his desk drawers, I see the writing samples from the candidates for my job and yes, my samples are clearly the best. Or at least tied with one other candidate, already a company employee. A male. (In fact, our samples were almot identical in style. It's freaky.) So there was a bit of truth to the rumours.
If they were doing a remake of WKRP they could write scenes like that for TV today. Real life is more weird than fiction, but everyone knows that!.