I have a curse that has been plaguing me ever since I started my freelance writing career. It is the kind of curse that could cause you to rock back and forth in a corner for days, but I would much prefer to share these unfortunate events with you because if you can’t laugh about it, you’re doing it wrong!
For the purpose of these accounts, I’m going to omit the name of the companies where these incidents occurred, and not because any of these occurrences reflect badly on them, as you will soon discover that most of them where born out of my own troubled fate or serious new girl syndrome.
For my first ever writing gig, I was invited to partake in a trial shift, where I had to complete 8+ articles in a day and they would be reviewed accordingly. However, when I came online, with bundles of enthusiasm and determination packed in my holster, I was greeted with an isolated desert, so stripped bare that even a tumbleweed couldn’t make an appearance. Basically, in less analogical terms, the person who had originally arranged the trial had left the company, and my new contact was completely unaware of my presence. I definitely wasn’t feeling lucky, punk.
So that was that. Thankfully, it was figured out pretty quickly and I continued to work there for the next two years. I then started to expand my portfolio and joined another site, where luck was on my side for once, as I managed to grab a Twin Peaks article for my very first post – which happens to be a subject that I’m knowledgeable on, and therefore comfortable writing about. I was getting to grips with their formatting and structural guidelines and ended up producing a piece that I was quite proud of…
Until, I lost it. Somehow, the entire article went AWOL and I started to experience a next-level breakdown that had me considering whether I should send out a search party or pin “Have you seen this article?” posters to tree trunks around my neighbourhood. To my dismay, the techie people drew a blank on what had caused the issue in the system, so I had to write the article again, from scratch. First word to last word, and everything in-between.
The humorous part? It was February 2nd – better known as Groundhog Day, or that 1993 comedy where Phil Connors (Bill Murray) finds himself reliving the same day over and over and over again until he gets it right.
Further down the line, I dipped my toe in the new writer’s pool once more, and everything appeared to be going swimmingly (excuse the pun). These particular articles were 2000+ words, so you were asked to pitch the idea before writing it. I had shared the details of my latest idea and clicked submit, at which point I lost my internet connection. What a time to be alive.
The internet was down until the next day, so I was unsure whether the pitch had been approved and the finished article would be expected shortly after, or it hadn’t. So I made the risky decision to go ahead and write it. I’m a conscientious person and I didn’t want to be pressured with a time constraint upon reconnection, plus I had never had a pitch rejected, so I was confident it would be given the green-light.
I wrote the piece, with my final full-stop marking the end of a 3,009 word article on a subject that I’m passionate about (clearly). However, when I came back online, the worst kind of realisation hit me like a ton of bricks, though it felt like a lot more, as I discovered that my pitch had not been submitted for approval before losing connection (so no one ever saw it) and someone else had written a devastatingly similar article in the meantime.
In other words, it was never published. Here’s a GIF to articulate my reaction:
All has not been lost though, as I have learned a very important lesson, which is: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then write a blog post about it.
Check out my latest article: http://bit.ly/2fNCbgA