Last week I received my final payment of unemployment benefits. After 99 weeks (now 100) of searching for work, I still don’t have a day job.
October 24, 2010 will be my second year out of work. I did my best to find employment in those 99 weeks on unemployment. I took job training at Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center and got my A+ Certification three months later. I took a Civil Service test. Entered a couple of screenplay contests like Scriptapalooza, Bluecat, The PAGE Awards and Cynosure. Even tried to sell my own books at the Harlem Book Fair. Twice. I did all this while I chased down leads at dozens of companies and went on numerous job interviews.
Unfortunately I’m still out of work.
I’ve got no time to blame politicians or rich businessmen for the sorry state of America’s job market. I’m too busy trying to find a way to make a living.
Even though there are few job opportunities in New York City and fewer takers in my other ventures, I’m going to keep persevering.
Even though my unemployment is exhausted, Book#4 and Book #5 are still going to be released. I've saved up enough money to get them published. I made a promise to myself to get those books out next year no matter what. Right now I’m working on making them the best they can be. My mission is to improve quality control with each passing title. My goal is to make my self-published titles so well-made they're indistinguishable from those produced at a publishing house.
Will I find that full-time job? I don’t know. While I wait for the economy to recover I’m working towards my dream of having a best-selling novel. Trying to promote my older books and get new books on the market. My goal is to have two books out in 2011 and to work on new stories after that. Praying they make some money once they're on the market.
Since 1999, it’s been my writing that has supported me. Gotten me in the door. Gotten me breaks. Gotten me jobs. Kept me afloat during the rough times. Sometimes it pays the bills. Most times it costs me money.
So until I find another day job, I’m asking everyone to help me out and buy a book. Buy two. Buy all three. Come back in a couple of months and Buy #4 and #5. I’m just trying to keep myself afloat in these tough times.