Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

First Impressions, Second Guesses.

I went to the dictionary earlier.

I wanted to be careful about the size of this statement. I needed to know if it was possible to have multiple banes. If I was about to refer to something as a bane of my existence I wanted to be sure that it would not preclude me from having other banes at other points of my life, should the need arise to name something else a bane.

Like a nemesis. I tend to think you can only have one of those. At least, only one of them at a time. In theory, if you manage to dispatch your nemesis, you can always pick up another one later, or if you had multiple rivals, one of them could then be promoted to the role of nemesis. Although I would hope that any such rival promoted to the position of nemesis would then show a concerted effort to raise the level of their game, such as to approximate at least a worthy comparison to the former nemesis, recently dispatched. Being one’s deadliest foe carries responsibilities.

Where was I? The dictionary. Bane. Noun, “a source of persistent annoyance or exasperation.”

A source. Not the source. Very well then.

Writing samples are a bane of my existence.

Mine, specifically. More specifically, the samples I am asked to produce when I apply for any writing-based employment.

Because if history is any indication, I am absolute bloodydamn awful at sending out the best, or at least most appropriate, examples of my own writing. This is not surprising. Like many, I am the worst judge of my own work, being as I am too close to the event to accurately assess. In most circumstances this might be simply a frustrating quirk, something you shrug your shoulders about and then bask in the glow of the canned laugh track. “Oh, you! What did you misjudge about your work this time? And you let Rex get into the Jell-O again?!”

In the circumstances at current, while seeking some sort of gainful employment, it falls past bland shtick and becomes something more like black comedy. I’ve submitted short stories, short plays, really short plays; I’ve re-purposed and revised entries from this blog that I’ve referred to in the cover letter as “essays.” I’m a writer of some facility but seem to lack the basic skills required to determine exactly what of my writing will line up with what an employer is looking for in a writer.

Is it my style they don’t care for or whatever of my personality comes through in the writing? Was it a mistake to send that essay which, while well-written, also made reference to my views on a particular political hot button? Was it really not that well-written in the first place? Was this story too perspicacious? Should I be careful about using words like perspicacious? What is it about the first impression a prospective employer gets from my writing samples that have thus far convinced them that no further exploration of the candidate is necessary?

I’m aware, yes, it could be any number of things that keep the door closed that have nothing to do with what they think of my ability to write. Some of these other possibilities might be fair, some might be grossly unfair, some might be downright unjust. And it is unlikely that I will ever know what led to the decision.

In the absence of that information, I look only to the things I can control, the variables at my fingertips. And I persuade myself that I just need to figure out the correct combination of combination of sentences, that the problem is that I’m standing on a field of round holes holding naught but square pegs in my hand.

I rather wish it were de rigeur to simply ask them to take a look at this blog.

Although I don’t know that I’d want them to read everything on it.

Probably not this entry, for starters.

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2009 by in Writing.
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