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Half-heartedly tempting fate

fatemagazinecoverHush, Hush Darling

This is a huge secret but over the past few years, I’ve applied for a dozen or so jobs.

Not applied applied. Not work-my-contacts, pro-résumé, sweat-over-cover-letter applied. More like, send-them-a-résumé-automatically-generated-from-my-LinkedIn-profile applied. I usually add a short note about why I would be interested in whatever job it is.

Shockingly I didn’t get any of those jobs (well, maybe 1 but it’s part-time consulting). Seriously, though, that half-assed strategy may not have landed me full-time positions but it did get me a few interviews. [To be fair, my (extensive) experience probably stood out despite the lack of effort, but still.]

By applying for these jobs, copywriting, server admin, recruiting (???), writer, social media manager, etc., I was tempting the Fates. I was secretly hoping the universe would find me a great job that I simpy couldn’t turn down. I’d have an out. I wouldn’t have to write. I could put off the demon-battling indefinitely. I still do apply sometimes. It’s like daydreaming.

Paperback Writer

For example, today I saw this ad for a copywriter at an ad agency for musicians. The company, FameHouse, works for interesting indie musicians like Amanda Palmer and big ones like Eminem. The ad says they want an experienced storyteller. I thought, “What the hell. Instead of a cover letter, I’ll send them a song. I have nothing to lose.”

So I took a minute to look up the basic pop song structure, then I took about 20 minutes to write these lyrics (no tune- maybe my friends Matthew or Lobelia and Steve can add some vaguely Cranberries-esque music):

Instrumental Intro

Verse 1

When her eyes are on you

you think, “she listens well”

but her stare looks right through

the crap you’re trying to sell

Verse 2

because at 3 she knew

the wicked, creeps and cheats

made all their lies come true

by covering them in sweets.

Chorus (1)



don’t study anymore

Freud was wrong

and Jung’s all gone

and Skinner rigged the score

Just write

It’s right

Just write

for daily bread

don’t let the dreams

sink in and fill your head

Verse (3)

She sells her magic nightly

and in the day’s blue screens

she types her words so lightly

and pops amphetamines

Chorus (2)



don’t worry anymore

your hope is wrong

your youth is gone

everyone’s keeping score

Just write

It’s right

Just write

for daily bread

don’t let the dreams

force you out of bed

Instrumental Break


“I wrote a story once 

of death, of love, of grit.

She won it all, in the end.

In the end.”

Half Chorus (3)

Just write

Just fight

Just write

forget the daily bread

awake your dreams

get them outside of your head


in the end


Dream, Dream, Dream

I realize these aren’t “I-really-want-this-job!” lyrics. That’s the point. That’s how I tempt Fate. Because if I get a hit on such a crazy and odd application (which I haven’t sent yet, but they may find this post via the backlinks), then interviewing –and perhaps getting– that job is meant to happen.

Of course, I don’t believe in any of this. I’m not religious or superstitious. I don’t believe in Fates or pre-ordained lives. There is no order to the universe. So the game I’m playing is quite risky. But it’s my passive-aggressive way of sticking it to this writing vocation that haunts me and scares me immobile.

This job in particular sounds so awesome, though, doesn’t it? I’d still be writing. I could call myself a writer. I’d be working with musicians, maybe famous ones, maybe ones I admire. I’d discover new ones. I’d connect with them, hear their stories, find the words that help fans find them. Maybe my exposure to that world could help boost my son’s interest in music and instrument learning. And co-workers! I’d have co-workers, a side-bennie I miss dearly. There is so much dignity in this job. And it would be so much easier.

It’s kind of like a death wish. A sleep of dreams. But a beautiful death, wrapped in gold with the promise of friends and adventures. It would be a lovely way to wait out the time until my fears have left me. Sometimes I tell myself all I need is structure. A full-time work-for-someone-else job would give me structure. I tell myself that such a situation would have me writing more than I do now. I tell myself wonderful, perfect stories, don’t I?

Maybe one day I’ll tell them for you.

Unless FameHouse rescues me first.


Photo credit by Davidd on Flickr

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Rick Wolff 13 June 2014, 8:08 pm

    This is a lot of things, but “immobile” isn’t one of them