Blogs by Pinckney D Rivers
And I Wanted to be a Writer!
9/17/2010 1:38:27 PM
a look at freelancing in 2010.humorous
Oy Vey! No, I'm not Jewish; I am just channeling a Jewish spirit. The Jewish people I know have a unique way of viewing things that always seems to be "eh"; nothing bothers them. It is a great way to look at life. A glass to be filled; who cares if it is half full or half empty. It's just a glass that needs water.
When I was in high school I decided I wanted to be a writer. I had always made up stories to tell my friends and even written a few school plays but, in my senior year, I decided I wanted to be a full fledged writer. I wanted to be Nellie Bly kicking at the glass ceiling of the newspaper world or the female Ernest Hemingway drinking my way around the world and telling my tales for all to hear. Reality set in several months later when I sat in my first college english class and realized that there was a little more to things than just jotting down a few things and handing it in to be published. First, you have to have someone who is interested in publishing what you are writing. THAT is not an easy task.
it took years but I eventually started to write for other people to read. What I mean is that I wrote things that got published. It was not usually something I was interested in and I sometimes had to really MAKE myself do the research for an article but once I got started I seemed to have a knack that made people read me. I even got a weekly newspaper column in a pretty well known newspaper in the East. My column was often about how things used to be in the 50's and 60's and how they had changed with the years that followed. Sometimes something would really aggravate me and I would write an opinion column. Everytime I did I would start a local war. It didn't matter what I said, someone was against it enough to threaten to knock out my windshield if I didn't shut up.Did it scare me? Nope. it really emboldened me to the point that I started picking risky topics just to see what kind of reaction I could get. The newspaper loved all the attention it was getting from one little ole column so they let me have my head and write whatever I wanted. I couldn't tell you the names I was called as a result. (Really, I couldn't, they would be quite offensive). Anyway, I was really enjoying myself until someone hacked my information, plastered my life all over everywhere and then added insult to injury by stealing my identity and ruining my credit. My husband said it was time to quit. So I did. Sort of.
I stopped the column and used my time to hunt down the person who was plastering bad checks all over the world with my name on them.I nearly ran my husband nuts trying to catch this man. But then, as they used to say on Laugh In, the fickle finger of fate got him for me. You have heard of dumb criminals? Well, let's say he was among the dumbest. He wrote a bad check to himself and signed my name. Then he gave it to his ex-wife to pay the back alimony he owed in the amount of $2500. Good move? No; his wife worked in a bank. It didn't take her long to discover the check was bad and she called ME. Of course, I didn't hesitate to tell her that I really needed her to call the sherrif's office. When she found out that her ex was involved in an identity theft case she got on the bandwagon with me and between us we put him away for several years. That was good. The bad part comes in when I tell you that I still haven't gotten all the stuff fixed on my credit reports. ID Theft is a lasting gift that keeps on giving.
So, I answered an ad to ghost some articles for a person about ID Theft and investigations of the same. I could really have written these articles with my eyes closed. The person who paid for the ghosting introduced me to other "EXPERTS" who pay freelance writers to do their articles for them and I began a new career. I WRITE 4 U. LOL, that was my little motto on my business cards.
Funny, I have found that most experts aren't. Did that sentence make any sense? No; well, read it again and think about what it says. Most so-called experts pay someone else to do the work for them. Since I began this work, I have been paid by an expert on post divorce readjustment to write an entire 16 week course on how to deal with your ex and the ordeal of divorce. She paid me, of course, but not as much as she charged each person to take her online course. If you were priviledged enough to take her course in person in one of her weekend intensives (at $5000 a pop) she would actually SIGN her course for you. I could not help but wonder how many times she had to read what I had written before she could act like she had written it.
All of this has made me look at things in a new way. When someone advertises that he or she is an expert in a subject should you not expect that person to be the one that has actually authored the course he or she is teaching? Should that person not actually write the book? And should I, as a freelance writer, sell my hard work so cheaply? I certainly don't know enough about any of the subjects to claim to be an expert but the hours of research and writing have led to the end result which is the work they are selling as their own. You really have to love the craft to ghostwrite. Otherwise you would get ulcers from all of the successful people who are making money hand over fist on your sweat.
Still, I love to freelance. I probably will never get a gig to cover the Paris fashion week or to do an article on the Amazon river natives for National Geographic but I do get some interesting assignments. I have been asked to do 75 articles on penis enlargement by a company who makes a pill; well, what the pill is supposed to do isn't worth discussing. I was asked to sign a non disclosure contract with a company prior to even finding out that I was about to be asked to write several world wide advertisements for an item that was supposed to cure arthritis pain. Once I started reading what they expected me to do I knew I couldn't possibly do it. What if people actually bought that product because I had convinced them it would work. No way! That was two I had to turn down. Others have asked that I "rewrite" something that someone else had written, Excuse me, don't you know that is plagarism? Then there are the companies who want me to write "whatever you want" about the subjec XYZ but as soon as I submit it, well, it just isn't the right thing for them and could I do it over?
My favorite job of all time is a psychic in California who actually hired me four months ago to re-write a few sentences on his website so that it would be more inviting. I did and then he asked me to do his horoscopes each month. I do. Then he asked me if I would do his blog each week. I do. He pays me on time and I love the job but I would never in a million years have forseen that I would be writing copy for a psychic to the stars. That wasn't in the realm of my imagination when I was in high school and thought I wanted to be a writer.
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More Blogs by Pinckney D Rivers
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2011 Already? - Sunday, January 02, 2011
Keeping Up Appearances - Saturday, October 23, 2010
Guru Yourself! - Monday, October 18, 2010
So who hired me anyway? - Tuesday, September 28, 2010
And I Wanted to be a Writer! - Friday, September 17, 2010
Costa Rica Looks Good to Me - Friday, August 27, 2010
starting K5 - Wednesday, August 18, 2010
My Grandson and Me - Saturday, July 10, 2010
Patriotic Services - Sunday, July 04, 2010
Lights, camera, action; cue the President. - Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Whew! what a job! - Friday, May 28, 2010
Happy Mother's Day - Sunday, May 09, 2010
Too much for the week. - Saturday, May 01, 2010
Freelancing is not freeloading - Thursday, April 15, 2010
Blog, Blog, Blog Blah!! - Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Embarrassed to be Baptist - Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I am an American and I ain't takin'it no more! - Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I am an AMERICAN! - Monday, March 22, 2010
Being Liberally Challenged - Monday, March 01, 2010
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Mary Magdalene from whence comes the story - Friday, March 27, 2009
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