Sunday, May 18, 2008

And So Goes The Writing

So I've been trying to establish a writing career with mixed results, but at the very least I'm finding that the freelance writing field is a community that loves what they do. There are all sorts of tricks to the trade, but just breaking in is the first step.

I started out doing freebie stuff on AC and Helium, but found that the key to getting real writing jobs is to branch out. Since that time, I've been doing blogs, of all things, and trying to get gigs, which I'm finding isn't so simple. Suffering from the problem of numbers, here.

At least I'm writing, and I'm enjoying it, though there's a game and art to this in terms of getting exposure and making money, and it's all about selling yourself, something I've got to learn to better do. Some of these guys are pros, I'm envious.

Still trying to find that elusive way to make more money. Where shall it be?

On the home front, things are good. We are gearing up for summer, our Spring activities are winding down and soon they will be none. Always stressing about how to maintain the social lives of our kids. It's fun just hanging around here, but kids need more. Have a few potential things lined up, but we'll see how they pan out.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

How Do They Do It

For the life of me, I don't know how people write full time and still maintain blogs. It's crazy, if you ask me, but then again, writer's write, therefore they are. I've been blogging on Parenting Squad for the past month and have to confess that I rather like it. It's kind of fun, I like writing the pieces, not too high stress, and the other writers are way cool. They have been immensely helpful and supportive.

I've been averaging about two posts a week, though that's largely because in the first few weeks I literally sat around and did nothing. Guess I wasn't sure if I should have proceeded without having KN (my best friend and lawyer) read the contract. That was what threw me off in the first place, having to sign a contract. Welcome the real world.

My beginnings in the world of freelance were inspired by my desire to be at home with A&N. Nothing takes precedence over being there for them. But how the hell was I going to make more money. My part time gig as Dartmouth helps pay the bills, but it's too damn expensive living up here. I look around at how people live and still can't fathom how they pull it off, but that's another story.

In the meantime, I'd like to reflect a little on the whole genesis of my so-called writing career. I started out doing all the free stuff, thinking that I needed to get some street cred, and let me tell you that there is a world of opportunities to write for free on the web. The simplest is the blog. I have to admit, the writing on a lot of these blogs is very well done. I impressed.

I graduated up to being a content producer and hit sites like Helium and PrintNPost. Though they clearly make money, I have no clue where their income streams come from. On Helium it's easy, they pay practically nothing. They make a big issue of earning through traffic, but it takes an enormous amount of traffic to even make pennies, so much so that it's not even worth thinking about it. You just gotta write for the sake of writing, and my stuff was about average, I got some good reviews and some bad.

I went over to AC, and they actually pay both upfront cash and performance payment. I got the impression that I was in the real world of high-profile writing, so I was intimidated. I didn't want to publish crap, so I worked hard on my first post and gave it my all. Well, it turns out that it wasn't necessary, because some people clearly aren't putting the same effort. Their stuff is complete garbage, with top ten lists about everything under the sun. Not sure how or why they even accept that stuff, but then I learned that using AC on your resume can work against you. I saw ads that said that if it's your only writing experience, then don't bother to apply.

Enough said.

I don't know how AC makes it's money, but it almost seems incestuous. They've created their own internal community of writers who read and traffic all the content, then make phony and disingenuous comments about the stuff. At least that's what I do.

Either way, I still do the AC gig, I like the community, the people are nice and united in the pursuit of better content, but I've been concentrating on my blog gig at Parenting Squad. I haven't seen a penny, and am not sure what sort of income will come from it, but at least I've finally created a resume, and PS is a large part of it.

I've even won a couple of accolade, but won't go into it hear. I'm into my writing gig, and am trying to parlay it into more writing work. We'll see how it goes, but I'm optimistic, if only for the fact that there is so much stuff out there, so many opportunities.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.