I'm an unemployed food writer

I was in the grocery store earlier this week, buying the usual things, and also on the lookout for fall recipe inspiration; I wanted to take some Halloween/fall photos of gourmet caramel apples, and experiment with my new candy thermometer a little bit. Next to the apples I found the most beautiful petite pears – no larger than my thumb. I pictured them drenched in thick caramel with bits of chopped candied pumpkin seeds and dusted with spice. I bagged about six of them, along with a few McIntosh apples.

Checkout Girl: I heard these pears are sweeter than the big ones. Is that true?
Me: I’m not sure. I’m buying just to take photos of them.
Checkout Girl: OK, I have to ask. What do you do that you need to take photos of food?

I hesitated. Paused. I wasn’t sure how to answer. I wasn’t sure how to explain my career change from design and marketing to food, and I wasn’t sure I felt confident enough to say it out loud.

“Oh, I’m a food writer,” I casually said while unloading the cart.

“Ha,” I thought to myself. “I’m a food writer. Cool.”

After the groceries were put away, I sat at the kitchen table and thought for a minute or two. I’m a food writer, and yeah, that’s neat. But I’m an unemployed food writer. I’m writing, but I’m not really being paid for my writing, which sort of makes me unemployed. And my paying job will end very soon with a layoff.

Needless to say, I was excited to be offered a phone interview with the directing editor of a major publishing company in Alabama, y’all, looking for a food editor. Our interview was today, and we had a great conversation — I told my food stories, we laughed, I talked about my journey, my experience, my passion.

And then came the big question: So, you’re looking to relocate to Alabama? Er, um, no. “Is telecommunting an option?” The answer was unfortuantely, “No.” They needed someone in house to manage a team, test recipes, etc. My dream job. Sigh.

I asked her to keep me in mind for any freelance work, and will follow up later today with a thank you and a few additional writing samples we discussed during the interview.

It was wonderful speaking with her, but I’m wondering now — will we, should we move for the sake of work? My dream job doesn’t seem to be anywhere near Orlando.

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