A Writer’s Life: I Didn’t Take The Writing Gig, Instead I Wrote A Job Wish List

If you get my newsletter you know I was working on a writing opportunity. And although I’ve somewhat known the editor I still had to work up the nerve to ask for it. As I went back and forth in conversation via email, I felt confident it was a great opportunity.

Then, I turned it down. I know, crazy right?

I was sitting with the contract in my hand, going over the details. Thinking about what it would mean to work with someone else, the pro’s and cons. Of course, I focused more on the pros. It was exciting. All I could think about was the experience. To do what I love, with the potential for more opportunities.


But then I kept having this feeling. There were several things I liked about the job. But other things which made it not such a perfect fit. So I negotiated. And when that didn’t work, I walked away.


I wish I was writing a grand announcement today, about my new writing adventures. Walking away was not easy. I almost felt like I was making the wrong decision. I just knew, people would think I am crazy for turning down any writing opportunity. I even felt disappointed as I wrote my letter to decline.


I try to convince myself it was okay to have a list of expectations when seeking a job. And if the job did not meet my requirements, it was okay to walk away. But, that’s not always easy to do. Especially when you desire to get into your field. Sometimes going after something close to what you want starts to look appetizing.


Then I read, “Creating Your Job Wish List.” It put me at ease with my decision. Blogger, Latoya Coleman explains, it’s important to make a list of things you want from your next job. If you make a list of ten things, you should be able to check off at least five items for your first job.


The list is a great way to fine tune what you want in your career, and choose the right companies to work with. This made sense. And it calmed my anxiety down I developed by thinking I should go for any and every writing opportunity.


Now, I know people take on any writing job, to pay the bills, or to get exposure. But I have a job that pays my bills already. And although I was not going to be able to quit my day job on this opportunity, it would have given me more exposure. But even gaining exposure has its limits. So, I thought about the job experience as a whole. And those things I required from the company and how important they are to me. Turns out they are important. And not having them would feel like I am settling, and not going in the right direction.


It’s funny. After turning down the position, I asked God “why I have not found the right writing opportunity yet?” But by the time I finished writing about this experience, I realized there’re some things I need to work on. First things first, I need to finish writing my “Job Wish List.”