“Patience, Highlander. You have done well. But it’ll take time. You are generations being born and dying. You are at one with all living things. Each man’s thoughts and dreams are yours to know. You have power beyond imagination. Use it well, my friend.”
I finally sat down to research the writing market and it hit me like a cold water bucket being thrown in my face. I spent the last 2 and a half years, dreaming about the day I would write what I’d like and it could get some money. While in school, I kept with all the deadlines, a huge amount of pressure, putting entire projects together in two days. Yes, two days, because I needed the feedback from my peers on Friday. Sometimes I would have to create a whole new spec script in a day, 30 pages. Not a problem. The problem is, writing in real life is way more challenging than just posting assignments to be graded.
Last week, I updated my resume a couple of times, applied for many different job positions, confident that I would get some answers. Nothing. During my browsing around, I started checking some job offers on the freelancing website, that has tones of people offering to pay you 50 bucks for a thousand words, to research, write, put it on e-book format and deliver the job in a great amount of time. It made me frown, but what hits me harder was a specific one I stumbled upon. The words on the offer cut me the same way I was a kindergarten and the other kids didn’t pick me up for the game. The add goes on and on and says “Native English speakers only”. It took a few minutes to sink in and I finally understood. The AD was only offering the Freelance job to Born and Raised Americans only.
It doesn’t make any sense for me, as I graduated in Creative Writing, on the same level as all the other Americans I took classes with. My father-in-law is born and raised American, and I don’t mean to be rude, but writing is not his strongest skill. People told me, yeah sometimes they want someone proficient, well I’m proficient, and I guarantee you, my paper won’t have an accent when you read it.
I busted down crying. My husband let go of his tv and hugged me. Would all my effort to improve and compete at the same level as other native speakers, be washed away because I was not lucky enough to be born in this country? Do I have to hide where I’m from to get a writing job because instead of asking for the pieces I write to evaluate me, they instantly assume I’m not a good writer because English it’s not my first language? Let me tell you: it is.
I live in a second language. I worked with customer service and do all my errands in a second language. Do you know when you have to go the bank to pay rent? I can do it too, in English. Do you know when you have a job interview and they make you explain what are your plans for the future, or what how your past experiences will relate to the new job? Again, I answer it all in English. Stop measuring my ability to speak another language based on the country I was born. It’s derogatory and it looks stupid on you.
I will not go into the political aspect of this, because I don’t blame on the President, I think those morons were there before he got in, all feeling entitled for reasons only they would know. He just unleashed this urge of hatred and gave them authority to treat foreigners with doubt and disrespect. Like “it is not your land, you don’t need to be here.”
I keep applying for jobs in different platforms. I have been trying them all. Indeed, Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn, UpWork, Writers Work. I got a few interviews, but they were all in the suburbs of Chicago or other cities, so I had to let go. I also applied for positions such as Content Creator, Writer Assistant and so on. While it doesn’t happen, I work on learning other skills I always wanted in my free time, like digital drawing and entrepreneurship. Maybe I will create a writing company for the outcasts at some point. Your voice needs to be heard, you don’t need to be quiet because you have an accent.