Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New Adventure for this Hapless Writer

Or is it hopeless? Since I can not be sure of which I am -- just unfortunate or completely lost -- I have decided to throw caution to the wind and begin my journey of writing to make some money for the stuff I type all day. I say hooray! Hopefully everyone out there in the fun land of reading says the same. This is not an entirely new concept for me because I have been working on it behind the scenes for quite a while but now feels like the right time to share it with everyone.

Over the course of the past year or so I have been tracking down, and keeping track of, a bunch of sites where they hire freelance writers and/or allow us wordy types to post our stuff simply because we want to. How nice of them. While doing research, joining or attempting to land a paid gig (or fifty), I found there is a whole lot of conflicting information, scams and (thankfully) still some downright honest websites out there in cyberville.

Some of the sites I joined only allow the user a certain level of points or credits, to be applied towards bids for jobs, and require payment to fully join. I completely understand that sometimes the old adage “membership has its privileges” is in fact true but then that other saying comes out singing from the back of my mind. The one that goes “I ain’t got no dough”.

From what I have seen, there are definitely happy campers making money by bidding on and writing lots of stuff but it seems that those people are the only ones who ever get hired and if the proverbial “you” does not have a track record of being a good writer with payment history no one wants to hire you. Well, gee, that makes a whole bunch of sense. Can someone please explain how all those other people were given their first assignments then? I spent about six months reviewing and bidding on countless jobs but I refused to pay so I would be hired. Though they tell you it is unnecessary to do so. Right.

In the midst of these rejections, better known as the day to day life of every writer, I began posting articles up on a couple sites where there was no fee to join, but also no monetary potential. I did this mainly to garner experience writing in a less personal tone (non conversational, or as I like to call it the professional voice) so I would have a decent number of clippings to submit to who knows who when I miraculously went out and found the perfect job (read: someone recognized my verbal flexibility and decided to pay me to write this blog all day long so I did not have to worry about what tone of voice I had). That was going great until I started my second blog back in the fall of last year.

Those who know me understand that I refer to myself as the eco-police so it was only natural that any other blog I wrote was going to be about the environment. Wait, let me back up. First you should probably understand that last June I made my first pennies from writing. And when I say pennies, oh that is most definitely what they were. All 153 of them. Do not misunderstand however, I enjoyed every minute I wrote for The Organic Mechanic and I made amazing contacts of artists that I still keep in touch with to this day but it became clear at a point that it was time to branch out on my own. Thus, Green Leaf Reviewer was born.

Since I am a rather ambitious gal I envisioned myself writing GLR as a potential income stream as I fully intended to post daily. For the most part that has held true too and I have rather enjoyed doing the research to craft the 176 posts already up over there, the part where I live in my world of fantasy was that by placing one little miniscule Google Ads box on the page I would suddenly be paying my rent. OK, maybe my fantasy was not quite that extreme but I at least thought I could pay myself via groceries or dinner or whatnot here or there. Not so much. Yet.

We writers are resilient beasts who will stop at nothing until we get what we want so of course I am exploring alternative advertising options. In the meantime however I am going to enjoy making the connections to all those fabulous tree huggers. Just as soon as I stop smoking. Damn hypocrite. Ok maybe that is too harsh; perhaps I am just a walking contradiction. That sounds so much fluffier.

So for the last three to six months I have been enjoying the interactions between all the people I have come to chat with online be it here, at GLR or on various forums because it has allowed me to network something fierce. And as we all know, its all about who you know. Well it started occurring to me that who I know are an array of amazing people -- teachers, humorists, artists -- but the one thing they all have in common is they are writers (even the jewelry designers, who’s blogs I peruse to drool, had to write up their descriptions so if nothing else they are sure fluent in adjectives).

With refreshed inspiration, stemming mostly from this little exercise I have taken on here of posting once a day through the entire month of May, I set out to locate more writers’ forums. I was itching to discover spots where I could discuss this passion as well because to date I found plenty of places to yak about everything else that struck my fancy. I happened upon this cool place where not only can I join in discussion forums, but I can post my own articles and each will include links to my Google AdSense account, Amazon Associate account and just about any other click through advertising affiliation I have.

So far I have made zilch but I am not exactly discouraged, I mean I only joined two days ago and I do not post about sex, drugs or rock and roll so it will likely take some time. What I have found awesome however is I am actually a fairly decent article re-writer because I have taken a few of my GLR posts and gave them the professional, third person voice, and I am already getting great feedback on them! I will share in the near future a little widget to my profile but for now I am keeping the site a slight mystery as I truly want to feel out if it is going to be something that gets the job done for me. If not I guess I will just fall back on the blogging as a fun hobby and start pursuing that novel I keep meaning to write.


Maine-y-ac said...

Jenn, All the best. I know this will work out well for you.

Chris said...

Keep on writing and persevering, Jenn. You have talent, just takes time to get noticed, I s'pose.

Good luck!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks guys, I am jst going to keep plugging away like a maniac only driven by her need to produce words lol. Time I got, so if its time it takes then I guess I'm a-ok :-)

Joan said...

You are a very good writer. Hang in there. :)

Karen said...

Yay! Keep on keepin' on!