Integrity VS Pride
When it comes to growth, which is more important?
When the publisher who hired me sent back a third edit, I swear I could taste blood. I bit the inside of my cheek and repeated the mantra I used when the first two edits were sent: “If every pork chop was perfect, we wouldn’t have hotdogs”
Applying a children’s show saying to an adult problem made it feel less like an insult and more like a learning experience. Here I was, writing for money! I should be thrilled! I should feel blessed to make barely minimum wage doing rewrites and ghosting articles for others. So what if my names not on the project, I made some dough! It’s not just a hobby if you get paid!
I had myself convinced this was just the learning experience I needed. That everyone pays dues. You have to put the nose to the grindstone. I hate that saying. I started finding writings jobs because I don’t want a grindstone around my neck. I am barely able to float as it is. I don’t need to be lacking a nose on top of everything.
Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. The second definition is the state of being whole and undivided. Pride on the other hand, is defined as a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by others. Some people hold closer to the second definition; a feeling that you are more important or better than other people.
In the beginning I was willing to sacrifice my pride to get a portfolio of paid work under my belt. The major problem has been that most work for newcomer writers is ghostwriting, or background work that gives credit to the persons who hired you. Your name never appears anywhere. So I’m making chump change, and don’t have anything to show for it. I’m also losing my integrity at the same time.
I am divided.
I can’t figure out if I’m somehow failing as a writer, because nothing has my name on it. If I were a random reader, I wouldn’t know that someone else wrote this long piece of click bait. I wouldn’t know that it killed a little piece of the person writing it. I would probably scan through, take what useful info I could and then click out. It would be mental bubblegum. Chewed up, and spit out.
So now I stand at the threshold of my career with two choices:
Do I stay at it, working in a flooded market of people doing work that pays but doesn’t help me progress OR
Do I try something new?
I’ve been in the market for a over a month, and all I found was a new grindstone. Change is painful. Chances are painful too. I could fail, I could make nothing. I could end up more in the hole then I am now. It’s sink or swim, and I’m already in the water up to my neck.
I’m going to try to swim, and see if I can’t teach others the doggy paddle.