Archive for January, 2010

Jan 31 2010

paid by the word

So, for those who know me or have followed my blogs/Twitters for a while, you know I occasionally purport to be a writer. Well, okay, in fairness I don’t out and out say “writer”. I will often declare to have some latent writing talent, and I foist my words upon the Internet with alarming regularity. I have made a living in the past peripherally by writing, even if it’s just editing correspondence or putting together FAQs, but I wouldn’t call myself a writer.

Anyway, at the moment I’m between contracts, which is a nice way of saying unemployed. For a while I was spending all my time playing the Auction House in World of Warcraft and buying many pretty things for my elf. (Pedantic note — my elf is actually a Russian gypsy space goat, but elf is a funnier word.) Then it occurred to me: maybe I could put some of my spare time to, y’know, bettering myself and stuff. Or at least not jumping around an imaginary world with my imaginary character collecting imaginary items.

No sir, I was destined for better things. I was destined to.. WRITE about imaginary items. (And other things too. Like the Olympics! There are totally Olympic Things going on in my city. Adrian brought up the unfortunate fact that I’d likely have to leave the house to observe said Things, but I will have him and you all know that I have VERY LARGE WINDOWS.) I was even somewhat buoyed by a comment made by a wordly friend on another forum that declared that I either had a knack for subtle written expressions or was “one lucksack of a writer”. Clearly, I’ve decided to go with the former.

As it turns out, the new hotness in Internet business is Content Mills. These are a fairly divisive subject in the online freelance writing community, which is something I might get into in another post. Suffice to say for now that weird Canadian women with an absentee portfolio (yay, previous jobs with proprietary content) and a need to spit out words onto a keyboard at 2am benefit greatly from this new trend. 500 words on pretty much whatever I want? Um. Okay?

So here it is: some poor sucker paid me to write an article on How to Quit Your MMO Guild Without Causing Drama. It has a photo of me and everything. (Note to self: go back to Urs and demand that hair color again. It is funky.) No, I was not paid much, although a good article can make a couple of bucks in residuals each month. And don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of shite on content mills, particularly ones with low barrier to entry. However, I must admit to feeling kind of pleased with myself.

Paid by the word, y’all. It’s not a career, it’s certainly not a living wage, and once I get a dayjob I will likely not be quitting it, but just for today I am a professional writer. I made enough to pay for this bottle of vodka that I’m drinking as I type! (What? I’m A WRITER now, we have hard-drinking standards to live up to.)

All in all.. not bad. Not bad.

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