This is going to look like something of a rant, but bear with me…
Over the years as a freelancer working predominantly online, I’ve come across a bewildering array of low paying websites. Just a few moments ago a gig offering $1.25 for 500 words popped up in my feed.
My jaw no longer hits the desk in shock and disgust; I simply click the next button. However it is clear that as people are paying these prices that there must be writers out there who are happy to work for this sweatshop-esque pittance.
Without sounding pretentious, being a writer is a calling. In many ways it can be vocational, although that largely depends on who you’re writing for. Like musicians and artists, writers write because they have thoughts and opinions and a voice that has to be heard.
No One Is Going to Hear You at $0.0025 per Word.
One of the things I’ve been planning on featuring here at my homepage is a few tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over years writing freelance.
It was back in 2004 when I completed my first freelance gig and while brainstorming another project recently I realised that I know more than I’d ever imagined.
While I might not know the secret of life, the universe and everything – or indeed how to call a sperm whale into existence above an alien planet – there is an amazing (and somewhat scary) 8 years of experience to be tapped.
OK, so what’s going on here?
I’ve given the website a facelift and opted for a full on blog rather than a few static pages. To this end, I’ve imported the old content from www.atomickarma.co.uk (which is soon to receive an interesting face-lift…) and updated my portfolio.
We’ve had an interesting few months since the babies came along, and professionally I’ve been able to grab hold of some great opportunities, some of which I’m working on today!
On the down side, work-related matters prevented me from finishing my NaNoWriMo entry, which means I’m going to have to try again next year (just because, okay?) but there is the advantage of having over 13,000 words of a story to play with during any quiet spells in the near future. I may post a sample from the story at some point over the next few weeks.
So, I’m just about to embark on my fourth week as a freelance writer. I’ve learned a few things in this time, but most importantly, I’ve discovered that if you send an email, make sure you have regular access to the account you sent it from.
D’oh! I enquired to a website recently about a potential opening that would result in regular work. I’ve been checking for days now for a response, thinking it had been captured in my boxtrapper. In the event, it seems I sent it from an email account I use only occasionally.
As such I think there is very little chance of my reply being taken seriously. Pretty annoying, but hey, what can you do? In the meantime, I’ll simply have to use that extra effort to finish off the upcoming Kasterborous book…
For some reason I expected the first week of freelancing to be pretty uneventful. After all, the idea for the first couple of months is to multiply four-fold the amount of freelancing I was doing already. I had also managed to secure a new position writing for www.devicemag.com (a great technical resource) so reckoned between that and Brighthub things would be OK.
And so far they have been.