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「服務他人是你住地球應該付出的租金。」– 穆罕默德‧阿里 (拳擊手)
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." -- Muhammad Ali, Boxer
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天天閱讀英語島,在這裡感知世界,汲取英文的養分。
 
所有寫字人的共同回憶--瓶頸, 在自由作家Evan的筆下變得栩栩如生。征服它的喜悅是多麼甜美,以至於總是讓人忘記它的尖刺,像羅蘭‧巴特說的:「寫作是善者不來,來者不善」。如果你也是寫文案的人,應該深有體會。

After sending out endless unreturned emails in response to job listings posted online, getting a response of any kind is a moment of glory. You forget all of the times you got your hopes up about applying for the perfect gig only to have your resume lost in an overflowing inbox. Frustration yields to good fortune.

Like most life changing events, my moment of glory came at just the right time. I was getting r eady to move to anot he r country and looking for work that I could do remotely. Writing has  always been something that came easily to me. enjoy it, so getting someone to pay me to write seemed like a good idea. The job description was simple enough. Read a few news sources about an assigned news story and write about it in my own words, meticulously citing sources so the editor could fact check everything.

Before writing voice over scripts for a YouTube news channel, my experience as a writer came in the form of poetry, research papers, film scripts, and a few short stories. My process usually involved secluding myself, pouring a cup of tea, turning on some music, and get t ing to work. The words would flow out of me freely from a place of understanding and just the right amount of creative struggle with the sources of inspiration. But I was alone with my thought s and working more or less on my own schedule, excluding a few late nights spent tackling a term paper the night before it was due.

At first, approaching writing from a professional standpoint was both exciting and fulfilling. Hearing the words I had written being spoken aloud was very satisfying both creatively and professionally, even if the voice reading them sounded robotic. Being on the other side of the world from where my job was based made the deadlines a breeze. I would wake up knowing I had a few topics waiting for me to write about, and I had all day to complete each task at my leisure.

Freelancing turned out to be more challenging than I expected, but the ability to travel and work remotely was a huge plus. The only problem was that I was so used to being in my own little world while writing that working in a café or any place where there were distractions was nearly impossible. It took me much longer to complete any story compared to when I was in the comfort of my own space. I learned to put on my headphones and chip away at each script piece by piece, but the quality of my work suffered. Writing is a very subjective occupation, and what one person thinks is good is not always agreed upon by the editors or clients. Even if you deliver what they ask for, there is always room for improvement or changes until the deadline expires.

 

Af ter two and a half years of writing short voice over scripts, only communicating with my boss through email (we spoke once on the phone when I was interviewed and hired) and having the freedom to work from home in my underwear or at a bar overlooking the beach, I lost my first writing gig. It was good while it lasted, but working in a distracting environment had finally taken its toll. I was devastated and thought that I would never be able to find another job that could compare to the freedom and satisfaction of what I had become accustomed to. I loathed the feeling of having to send out another few hundred emails that may or may not ever be read or considered due to the sheer volume of applications.

Luckily, I'm a true believer that when one door closes another opens, and I landed a job writing animation and voice over scripts for a big company as a staff writer. I adjusted to office life and never looked back. Skip ahead two years, several incompetent editors, and another layoff later. Finding myself unemployed again, I started emailing my old boss from my first writing job to see if he would give me another shot. At first, he was amicable and asked me to send a sample script. Apparently, the several hundred I had written for him before were not sufficient, so I carefully crafted a script based on the assigned topic. Since he didn't respond, I stopped soliciting him for work and moved on.

 

A lit tle disappointed, but unflinching in my desire to continue being a professional writer, I was lucky enough to find an editing position at an established periodical magazine. Working on a monthly publication is much different from producing online content. The workload left me with some time to kill in the office, so I started applying for small freelance writing opportunities that I found online. As expected, none were returned. Much to my surprise, I got an email one day from my old boss. He wanted to know if I was available to write for him again. In fact, I was. I took a deep breath and responded with a few recent writing samples attached to the email. We soon reestablished our working relationship, though I've still never seen his face or shaken his hand.

Going back to writing these short scripts after all of my professional experiences between time felt vindicating. I had earned the right to go back to something that set me free and defined my career path in ways that I am only now starting to understand.


文/Evan Vitkoski

本文收錄於英語島English Island 2018年5月號
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