Monday, 12 January 2015

Truly Freelance

First of all I would like to say a hearty thank you to all the kind words you had to say last week about my friend's art. I didn't get to talk to her as much as I would have liked last week so unfortunately as of this writing she hasn't seen the feedback but I know she'll appreciate and enjoy it. Now on to the stories of this week which are coming from me. It felt good to take a week off. 
Except I did nothing productive all week.
I got an email a few days ago from one of my old employers. Technically I suppose they are still my employer because that was the one job I never formally left. They sent me an email telling me to not write anything more from them until they sent me an email saying it was okay to. Then I never heard from them again until a few days ago when they approached me with a different job. As you might recall I was working article writing jobs but had to leave when I became too depressed to continue. 
I was actually referred to as a "Grumpy McGrumperson" 
Anyway, they sent me an email, along with CCing their other two writers, saying they had a job to write 60 articles in two weeks and that they wanted all three of us to do 20 each. 20 articles of 400 words for $3 each. I figured why the hell not and took the job. I also said that I could probably do more if need be and in my head imagined doing all sixty articles. Writing 30 articles a week is what my old job was and that would have been $180 which would have been pretty nice. 

Five articles into this job and I'm already aware of the fact I could never write 60 and I'm remembering why I left. But I'm going to stick this through and make a bit of money. It feels good to be totally freelance and to have the freedom to say I don't want to do a job. I don't mind doing jobs and this guy pays more than the last one, but it seems that on a mental level I wouldn't be able to handle continuous employment. I don't know why. Oh well. 

12 comments:

  1. Good luck Mark, you can do it!

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    1. Aye I know. It's just a few days of soul crushing-ness rather than a never ending cycle this time around.

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  2. Yes, good luck! Just don't get to a point that you resent writing. That's why writing jobs are hard for me; I don't ever want to reach a point where I actually dread writing.

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    1. That was why I left in the first place. About a week after leaving I wrote just for the hell of it and felt better about writing. Right now my plan is to not spend any money except for the expenses I've saved for and focus on getting my driving license and writing a novel. Then I'll focus on getting a part time job while continuing to write. It's a simple plan but it's the best I can do given that I can't write a novel and do writing jobs at the same time, but also can't do the writing jobs that actually give a good income such as translation and editing.

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  3. Freelance is great for the agency it gives you, but it can sometimes be hard to find good, well-paid jobs to do. (Excuse me if I'm wrong, but $3 for a piece of professional writing sounds kinda low? Granted, it's "only" 400 words, but still. What's your approximate hourly rate?)
    If you're a fan of diversity you may want to look into finding a job for a contracting company. I think it's fair if you ask to have a week or two of break-time in between jobs, giving you little vacation between work periods. Don't know how contracting companies work in the writing industry though, but it's an idea.

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    1. Hourly rates when it comes to writing are a bit tough. I can write about 1000 words an hour when writing an article. I learned I have a writing speed of about 70 words a minute which is great for transcribing. So when you consider I'm paid $3 for 400 words that's about 7 dollars an hour. If I was mentally able to write from 9-5 I'd earn a decent amount but yeah, it would definitely feel too small.

      I think I was working for a contracting company before and they sent me work every day except Sunday which I specifically asked for off. If something came up I could get time off too but that was rare. Plus then I was only earning $2 an article. If I could find a nice contracting company then I would probably go for that. The main problem with writing, with me, is that I can't do it on a continuous basis for more than a few hours. I've managed to do a full days worth of writing before but it leaves me feeling like shit and it's not something I can do more than once a week or so.

      Unfortunately I'm not great at the more lucrative aspects of writing jobs, or lack the evidence to prove I am.

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  4. I have to agree with Fang $3 sounds bloody low to me but what do I know maybe it's not anyway have to say better you then me since I would get stuck at article number one

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    1. It's a bit low but still more than I was earning before. That was $2 an article and definitely didn't feel like enough after a few weeks. The best you can hope for in my experience is $1 per 100 words. Some people can earn more but those are the really professional people.

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  5. Yeah, that must be a good feeling. I hope you make it through all 20 :)

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    1. I'm nearly there already Michael and have made it through over 10.

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  6. Good for you Mark for sticking this through!

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  7. Now you have me counting words to see how long 400 words is. If writing becomes pure drudgery for you, it could drain your creativity... which is obviously really bad.

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