I am losing sanity. And quickly. I finally got a writer job in DC, and it’s driving me nuts. To be professional, I’m not saying where I work, and I’m legally bound to not discuss anything that I work with (trust me it’s really not that exciting). But I can tell you that I’m a Junior Writer Intern, and I write government contract proposals. What’s that you say?
Well, the government contracts out a shit ton of their work (and yes, a “shit ton” is a technical word in this field). And to be fair and not choose the same company over and over again, they send out Requests for Proposals (RFPs), and the best proposal gets the job. Now these contracts can be awarded from a few thousand dollars to MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Millions on the line. And I’m writing the proposal. You can only imagine my complete and utter panic most days.
Now, the work itself is not so bad. I’m writing a lot, but it’s not fun writing. I want to use poetic words and flowery sentences. The government only wants to hear three things: best quality, lowest price, on schedule. That’s really all they care about. And it doesn’t leave much room for flowery, beautiful prose. But I can deal with that. What’s starting to crack me like a ripe nut are the hours. OOOOOOOH the hours. I have an hour commute to work in the morning and about an hour and a half to an hour and forty five minutes commute home. I leave my house at 6:20, and I don’t see it again anywhere from 5:30 to 8. It just depends on how much overtime they need that day, when the deadline is, how many other people are working on it, how much they give me, if I take a lunch, etc. The hours are BRUTAL. I’m too tired when I get home to do much more than flop on the couch and hate the world. And my little pity-party is starting to affect my relationship with the roommate, which I reeeeeally don’t care for.But I’m working on that bit; just takes some adjusting.
And the worst part… I feel like if I keep doing this for too long, I’ll forget how to write well. I’m afraid that I’ll sound like a proposal, that I’ll never use poetic language again, that everything will be “efficient” this and “cost-effective” that. When all I want to do is write something that will change the way just one person looks at the world. Something beautiful.
So anyway, enough excuses, I just wanted to update on why I haven’t written anything in a long time. It’s because my job is slowly crushing my soul.