New short fiction, inspired by these lovely people: http://busymockingbird.com/
New prose/poem/story, about a dog.
The prompt was to write an event, using three vignettes: prose, free verse, and rhyme.
Month Four on the murky seas of Words for Money.
I have drifted for days. The skies are gray, but hold no rain, barrels running low. If I have to eat another moldy cracker I may assassinate a seagull.
Yes, the money is getting better. Yes, the jobs are rolling in. But by all that is black and white, I must have a challenge.
I’m learning that, as a freelancer, it isn’t enough to set your standards high and work hard. You have to know yourself: your strengths, your peeves, your failings. That way you can choose the projects and clients that keep you working happy, and working well.
These are a few things I’ve learned in my short career:
My interest has a limit. And when my interest is spent, writing becomes work, in the most menial sense of the word. You do not want my writing to sound like work, so I will hack and claw and thump at it until it sounds the way it should. But that level of quality comes at a severe cost to my time and sanity. On the other hand…
Challenging projects are interesting projects. When a job requires a ridiculous level of creativity and spunk and precision, I am THERE. You cannot stop me from breaking my head happily against that project until you and I are both thrilled with the results. Once it becomes formulaic and predictable, I am faithfully filling the blanks until the project ends, and then I’m gone.
My favorite part of freelancing is the ever-evolving project list. It takes all kinds to keep me going. I need the steady, big industry neutrals to prepare me for the super nimble startups and their wide array of colors and goals and choices. I need the freedom to flirt with irreverent ad copy when I’m a little too done with those by-the-book web articles. And I need room to course correct, to realize maybe this type of piece is not the best for me, but that one makes me completely school girl giddy.
As a freelance writer, I can move on to the next step with a little more wisdom about what I can handle, and a little more confidence in saying, “Yes, I can write that for you. I would love it.”
Freelancer Lesson #4: There are approximately 587 million dull topics in the world. You will have to write about some of them. With love. Or pretend love, at least.
Sometimes the jobs with the steadiest pay and the best rates are the ones that bore you into a coma. That doesn’t mean you should quit, and it definitely doesn’t mean you should lower your standards. In the world of on-line work, your reputation is your lifeline. That means that even an 800-word treatise on the merits of lawn mower maintenance deserves your best writing.
But how do you write your most engaging content, when you don’t even care about the subject? Well…