The following is one of the many job applications the author has sent to advertising firms in his career as a writer.
Dear ad company, I would like a job in advertising.
You see, ad company, I’m very tired. I’ve tried to be a writer all year, and it’s not working out so well. Did you know that Murakami wakes up at five every morning to write, and then runs a half-marathon in the afternoon? I read it in his book about running. It kind of ruined my year. Now I can’t watch Netflix or drink in the afternoon without feeling like a loser.
Also, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures online from friends of mine who are writers. Their desks and walls are covered with post-it notes—all kinds of ideas for characters and plot twists and things. It seems like they’ve all got a plan and know what happens next. I’ve never been good with post-it notes. I just write until I get to a place that feels like an ending, and if that doesn’t happen I’m screwed.
I think I’m done, dear ad company. I don’t want to be a writer anymore. I want to be in advertising. I think I could be an asset to you. I’ve seen lots of ads. Once you start looking for them, they’re everywhere! I don’t think I would struggle as much to find an ending for an ad as I do for a story. Most ads are very short, very minimal—which I like. They just get in and get out. They’re very Raymond Carver, that way. I’m sure Carver would have been a great ad-man. Murakami, not so much. Too wordy. I’m also very minimal. These days it feels like I never finish anything. And I’m good at selling. I sell-out all the time. You should know as this is the fifth letter I’ve sent you, pleading for work.
I can’t promise that I’ll be the most fun at team-building exercises or staff parties but I know my way around a spell-check and if you tell me what you want and when, I’ll get it done. After all, that’s what appeals to me so much about advertising: being told what to write about. I’m sick of trying to figure it out by myself.
I thank you for your time.
I remain, yours truly,
Björn Halldórsson, writer
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