We sat in the kitchen for our writerly discussion. He held a sheaf of A4 paper, covered in typescript while I was armed with my favourite pen and my kitchen reading glasses. I slid them onto my nose, squinting around the scratches and food smudges. Two mugs of tea and a plate of just baked flapjacks sat on the table between us.
I never expected to rely on my Jobcentre, but their conditions for my independent efforts penalised my attempts to help myself. So, tough luck if you believe in making your own opportunities. Local jobs in Ipswich were non-existent or beyond my skill set: boiler repair and work with vulnerable people.
Writers are needy, insecure and desperate for approval. Just like everyone else, in other words, but because writers don't get out much they believe these challenges are unique to them, and tend to over-dramatize them. There's nothing new in all this; what's changed is that online reviews are reminding writers of something that, in the end, is probably good for us: everyone is different.
The advert in question - for an unpaid internship role which cites creating an "atmosphere of complaint" as grounds for immediate dismissal and carries a tone so opprobrious that you can almost hear the author tutting at the thought of you reading it - was revealed by the author as both an attempt at satire and a real job advert.