Saying “NEXT”: When Fired From A Sex Writing Job, When Losing Your Fuck-Buddy, To Life In General
I lost a job today (well, by the time you read this, a few weeks may have gone by). I feel kinda shitty about it; I have to be honest. As much because I always need the work as the fact that I now, once again, doubt my abilities. There are a whole host of reasons why I failed to make a connection with this client, an adult toy site, and I can rationalize all I like. My contact, who has been aces with me all along, took lots of the blame herself, claiming miscommunication and her bosses not really laying out what they needed from the get-go, so she, in turn, couldn’t relate those exact needs to me. Still, I feel kinda icky.
But I know I need just to say “NEXT.”
This might just be the hardest lesson we come to as freelancers, and I don’t mean only freelance sex writers; this “NEXT” rule we could probably all learn to hone to a fine edge. By all means, I am not saying not to reflect on why something didn’t work out, not learn from mistakes you made, not to delve back into the well and consider your skills, but if you are not able to at least whisper a ‘next’ and flow past the rejection, you might just get too weighed down by that rejection.
Which I feel myself indeed slipping into even now as I write this. But writing, as it usually does for me, is therapeutic and helps me to work this all out.
The good thing about moving forward is… you move forward. You set yourself in motion for something coming down the pike you can’t even predict. I’m not saying it will be better or worse if and when you find some other guy or girl to take the place of the fuck-buddy who no longer wants you, when you find another job beyond that employer who has fired you, that you will come to love the game anew when your chess club revokes your yearly membership. I’m just saying that if you’re able to say “NEXT” at those instances when you are rejected for whatever reason, you will be ready to snatch, grab and maybe even make a more robust pass at whatever is coming.
And something is always coming.
Another powerful aspect of the “NEXT” and certainly something I am feeling mostly here, even stronger than the rejection, is that I am no longer fence-sitting. In the two weeks, I was surfing the logistics of my new working assignment, had delivered and been paid for the work, I had an uneasy feeling that things were not so hunky-dory. You know how you can sense these things, right? Even in the face of my contact telling me she liked my work, I felt unease as the weeks passed with how long it was taking for the powers-that-be to get back to me when, in the first week, the work was coming fast and furious, and my contact was riding me a bit to get things done. I might no longer have the job, but I am no longer working this worry, this fence-sitting of “Is everything ok, or is it not?” that I seem to have been right on the money about.
I also made sure to thank my contact, assure her that she and I are all good (which we are), and to tell her that, if things change, if they want to give me another chance, I am here for further consideration. And I am. I don’t hold grudges or look to spank someone later (well, maybe in my bedroom play, but that’s another story). I know you can’t un-ring a bell, and I would say it’s a 99% certainty that I won’t hear back from her about another job or further work from her higher-ups, but I am indeed always open to have the discussion of working for anyone at any time. And, as I have mentioned one more than once in this sex writing column and plenty on my podcast Licking Non-Vanilla with M. Christian (a shameless plug I know, but as Chris writes stuff here, I figure why not?), you should never burn a bridge. I do indeed like the contact from this job that just fired me, I certainly want to keep in touch with her and don’t want her to feel bad about the news she had to deliver to me today. But who knows where she will go, if indeed other opportunities at her company will open up for me with her (again doubtful), if she might go someplace else where she might need me?
So, here I am today, feeling a little dejected but ok. I had to pen a new column, so here it is, and I thought maybe the lesson of saying “NEXT” was a good one to impart to you my struggling or maybe even entirely happy erotica writer.