In this blog, Ramiro talks through his journey from being a freelancer to becoming a substitute teacher.
I didn’t decide what I wanted to do with my life until my junior year of college. I had just declared a Narrative Studies major, landed a writing internship, and had received praise in a number of my writing classes. Fate decided that I would pursue a career in writing. But what does a writing career even look like? I had spent so much time resisting this path until I failed to determine what a writing career entailed.
Toward the end of and immediately after my college days, I landed several writing internships. You can find my earliest published work on sites like Beverly Hills Chairs and Custom Tobacco. Shortly thereafter, I landed another internship with CSUITEMUSIC.com. I enjoyed the type of copy that I produced for CSUITEMUSIC.com. I wrote about Black news and politics.
Joining A Movement
Since my writing internships were unpaid, I decided to take a brief hiatus from writing. That only lasted for two weeks. During that time, I landed another writing internship with We Buy Black.
I was immensely proud to be a writer for We Buy Black. In an article that I wrote for Medium.com, I explain how I desired to write for a Black political movement that I wholeheartedly supported. For me, the Buy Black Movement was the perfect movement for me to join.
Climbing the Ladder
Soon after I began writing for We Buy Black, I graduated from intern to freelance writer. It was a small amount but I was finally being compensated for my writing. I simultaneously began writing for several other publications and as a ghostwriter. My compensation, however was disappointingly low. I was forced to take yet another hiatus, not from writing, but from We Buy Black. I had no choice but to take a job as a registrar for a failing music school.
Perhaps a couple of months into my employment, I was expected to sweep, mop, change out the trash, etc. I grew enraged. Here I was an educated Black man/POC with a degree from one of the best schools in the world and my supervisor wanted me to complete housekeeping tasks. Don’t misunderstand, I have the utmost respect for housekeepers but I spent too much time going to school, commuting long hours, and studying simply to graduate and perform janitorial duties. I was frustrated to say the least.
An Unfortunate Split
I was able to leave the failing music school when We Buy Black hired me full-time as their Chief Content Editor. I was elated. I soon suffered more hardship, though. The company had to make cutbacks and I was laid off. Upon my return, to We Buy Black, my position had become part-time. I had to come to a disheartening conclusion.
Where I wanted my writing to be my main source of income, I had to face a bitter truth: writing doesn’t pay well. I made the tough decision--the decision that most artists make--to get a day job until I land my big break. For now, I am working as a substitute teacher while the writing is my side gig. I’m also working as a ghostwriter for one of the top ghostwriting companies.
Going With the Flow
For me, I realize that it’s pernicious to be resistant to the natural flow of my growth and personal progress. Unfortunately, I’m hard-headed and I find it difficult to go with the flow of anything. That is what I’ll have to do for now, however.