The job search has been infuriating, to say the least. Most of the places I apply to never even get back to me. I think that's extremely rude. A friend just told me the other day that a lot of places now use computer algorithms to filter out any resumes that don't mention the exact same keywords they're looking for, so I need to rewrite it for every freaking application. I feel like I shouldn't have to spend my free time doing that. The amount of time I have to spend applying for jobs instead of enjoying being alive is enough as it is. Then, too, I have to compete with like two hundred other people for every position, and I can't entirely suppress the evil thought that I would be better off if the pandemic had killed a lot more people. And a Master's degree isn't enough to stand out. So here I am with like two and a half weeks before school starts again, still an effing substitute teacher even though I have an effing Master's degree. I'm going to do as little substitute teaching as possible because I hate it and I have literal nightmare-inducing trauma from some of the worse schools. Even the best assignments are, more often than not, boring and far beneath my skill level. Is this really what God wants for me? If not, why won't he lift a finger to help me get something better? This whole summer has been pursuing one opportunity after another and watching nothing happen. Agency shmagency.
I haven't gotten any money yet from the freelance writing site I signed up for. If the population of the Slack channel is any indication, I have to compete with over three thousand people for the single-digit number of orders that customers place every day. I'm going to just go ahead and blame ChatGPT for that. I did successfully get an order and was actually excited about it, but then I couldn't start because the customer wasn't able to pay in advance. That order's still open and I'll be able to do it if and when he does pay but in the meantime I've got nothing. I also signed up for a couple of audio transcription sites, but due to high demand, both of their qualification tests are closed until further notice. I also signed up for Upwork, and with that one I get a limited number of "Connects" that I have to submit along with proposals for jobs, and of course I can get more if I pay for them. I recorded some footage to help test Eleos Sensors' emotion recognition software for therapeutic purposes. I got $5. Or rather, the guy paid me $5, but Upwork won't let me withdraw my money until it's over $100. It was more about gaining experience and building credibility on the platform than the money, but still, I want my money, damn it. My results made me smile, though. They'll need to figure out how to make the software work for emotionally repressed autistic people, because I'm sure I won't be the last one.
And so on and so forth.
My strategy for a while was to gather a following on my blog and then tell my readers to go buy my real writing when it got published, but over eight years later, I've started to realize that's not going to happen. So whatever. Yesterday I started uploading short stories that I wrote in graduate school to Amazon Kindle for 99 cents each because why not? As of this writing, none of them are up yet, but they will be soon. And then I'll see if they get any more attention than my blog does. I'll only get 35 cents for each sale, but that's 35 cents with no effort after the initial upload, so I'll take it. I also just decided that I want to publish the book I started over a decade ago. I wanted it to be perfect, but at some point I just have to say it's good enough. I want to self-publish it on Amazon by the end of the year. That might be a horrible mistake, but I really don't feel any motivation to shop around for publishing companies, get rejected dozens of times, and then argue over the content of my story when I do finally get one. I'm trying not to get my hopes up. Realistically, with the way my life has gone up to this point, it will go nowhere after the countless hours of work I've put into it. But I happen to know that I'm very talented and I happen to think that it's very good. It deserves to go somewhere, damn it. I barely ask God for anything anymore because I've lost my trust that he cares about what I want at all. But maybe I'll make an exception. I have nothing to lose.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.