I read another writer’s blog where he lamented the absurdity of the “standard” resume/CV format that outlines a whole bunch of facts and chronological bullet points but really doesn’t say anything about the applicant as a member of the human race. Which is essentially what the cover letter is supposed to do but I have seen that people either don’t understand that or are afraid to be informal in this formal application process.
Anyway, this writer put together his own resume, highlighting all of the points he thought were important. Some were career/background related, others were highly personal anecdotes. And I took his post (found here) as a challenge (as did a couple of my friends and I look forward to reading what they come up with when they get to that point) and have written my own version of his “effin resume” below:
1. I invest myself personally into everything I touch. It causes me to be intensely proud and leaves me open to injury. It makes me worry and it causes melodramatic levels of joy. It makes me spend too much time on projects and it frustrates me when other people are not as invested. This is a flaw and a strength, all wrapped up into one chaotic and sloppily wrapped package and I think it is necessary to my successes.
2. I am a thinker. My favorite word is why, even when the answer brings to light horrible emotions – sorrow, rage, pain – but those emotions are what leads me to the next thing which is…
3. I have more enormous ideas than I know what to do with. Some of them would change the world, some would just change my own world.
4. I have: made milkshakes, helped college students write better; written, reviewed, revised and interpreted legislation; designed websites, designed tee-shirts, managed retail workers, promoted bands and written words people have paid me for.
5. I have: visited cities I loved and it’s only made me want to visit more cities I will also love, seen a Broadway theatre from the stage, made friends all over the world, written more novel(lla)s than I have forgotten about, written a lot more words people haven’t paid me for, published my own book, registered my own publishing company with the Library of Congress, hosted an internet radio show and met people who never stop inspiring me.
6. I see stories of novelists boasting six figure months and freelance writers earning $60 thousand a year salaries and I want to join their elite club. Not because I want wealth and or fame but because I want to do things without thinking. I want to say, on Monday, “let’s go to India,” and touch down in Dubai on Friday.
7. I have never been the type to “eat my feelings,” but I do gravitate toward food for so many other things. I have found no better venue to beget the kinds of conversations that improve friendships and strengthen relationships than an otherwise empty diner in the wee hours of the morning. My college friends and I called it “going for coffee,” and while coffee was always included what that phrase really meant was relegating ourselves to a back booth in the nearby IHOP to spend several hours – and several pots of coffee – catching up on each other’s lives.
8. I “see” the world in a way that only a select few really ever get to experience. It encompasses everything from seeing the almost imperceptible differences in hues that others tend to miss or recognizing that just deboarding a plane and walking into the airport has a different energy in every different city and of course going into the city itself makes that energy even stronger. Maybe it’s being hyper sensitive, maybe it’s being an artist but I have met more people who are not like me than people who are.
9. I am currently: a novelist a music reviewer, a columnist, an amateur photographer, a music promoter, single.
10. I eat junk food and drink things I “shouldn’t” but not to the extent that I see some other people doing these things. I am almost jealous of people who are able to cut the cookies or sodas out of their diet and lose weight. I, on the other hand, don’t see how cutting out one can of soda every two weeks or four cookies in one week is going to make a marked improvement on my diet.
11. I sing. I used to sing well, now I just sing. Everywhere. Except in the shower but everywhere else. In the car, in the kitchen, in the supermarket, in the mall. It doesn’t embarrass me when people catch me singing although I think it tends to embarrass the people I am with when I do it in more public places. But that’s not really my problem, I don’t think.
12. I was a terrible student, not because I wasn’t smart but because I was smarter than everyone else by leaps and bounds. I was tested for the Gifted and Talented program but didn’t ever “get in.” None of us did. We were never told why. I comfort myself by saying not enough of us passed the test to make the program efficient. I mean, it would be a little impractical to bring in a special teacher and implement a special curriculum for one or two students, right? So that’s the reason I created for myself since no one would give me a real one. I had one amazing teacher who understood all of that and I wish all teachers could be like him. He saw the world in that special way too.
13. When I was a kid, I spent every night after I was supposed to be in bed sleeping, gathering a “fire kit.” Basically a few sets of clothes, a couple of blankets and all of the toys and things I loved so I could save them if our house caught on fire. I didn’t know anyone who had lost a home to a fire, it was simply something I created on my own.
14. I am a big city kid, all the way down to my core. I have always lived in small towns (100,000 people was the biggest) and always dreamed of living somewhere bigger. When I was a teen it was Seattle, later Austin, now anywhere with suburbs and a skyline would probably make me happy.
15. Chicken pox are most contagious the day before the sores appear. My sores appeared the day after I had been at a music exhibition with kids from a dozen or two other schools. State wide epidemic, go me!
16. I have seen first hand the power of music. It can unite people who otherwise would not have known one another, it can make people happy, sad, angry, motivated, inspired, it can make people fall in or out of love, it can heal and harm and it can save lives. Its power can be felt in any language, by people of vastly differing backgrounds, cultures, faiths, with little or no translation. And I have met people who don’t understand all of that and I want nothing more than to help them because it is truly the most powerful artistic medium we have at our disposal.