‘Freelancing’ – Week 1
So how did my first week being (unemployed) a freelance writer go?
I haven’t had a meltdown yet, but that might be due to the amazing fall we are having in Portland right now; whenever I feel overwhelmed by my poor life choices I just go for a walk outside. Going outside also means I have to get dressed; once you stop getting dressed you know you’re in trouble.
My biggest project was getting set up with Elance and Odesk, online freelancing sites. I’ve spent several hours on these sites so far, and this is the kind of work you find.
- Transcribing meetings, interviews, lectures, and mystery conversations.
- Ghost writing instructional books no one will ever read by people who are convinced their ideas are great but they just don’t want to write the book themselves. Also, the ideas would be yours, you are supplying all the research and ideas.
- Ghostwriting romance novels and erotica for straight people (damn).
- Edit and proof read thesis papers.
- Writing articles about topics such as insurance, Pokemon, car mechanics, fitness, law, making money, technology, and other topics I know nothing about that are SEO optimized.
- Writing articles about SEO optimization.
- Writing academic papers which might be for someone’s school assignment.
- Jobs which are not actually jobs but confused freelancers posting about themselves or people sending messages to other people.
- Jobs where the title is misspelled.
- Running the social media for some someone who runs their own business.
- Translating documents. Nope.
- Jobs which have almost no description other than, ‘Looking for a good writer for a project’.
- Jobs which will pay $5.00 for one hour of work and you better have three work samples when you apply.
- Jobs that ask for NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS ONLY (emphasis is not mine).
And who are you competing with for jobs?
- People who are actually companies of writers who are probably just passing the jobs onto people for less money. Really?
- People from the US and Commonwealth countries who apparently have been writing for decades and are also professional marketing people and sometimes lawyers (these are the most requested freelancers).
- People from Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East who seem to just apply to every single job and work for nothing. Some seem quite professional and some of them only say that they can provide 100% satisfaction on jobs.
Definitely an environment where someone new will prosper financially.
I’m thinking I’d have better luck finding work through networking, I have a few people out there who have offered some work for me. Note to self: Get better at networking. I did one small job this week and invoiced for a job I finished a few weeks ago. I probably made enough to cover my groceries for this week. Other than that I applied for a contract writing job which would be an amazing opportunity but I may be under-qualified for.
I signed up for another temp company too. I know there is work out there and I can make ends meet doing something. But later, I’m going out of town this week.
Other notes to self: Pretty sure now that Obamacare went into effect I either will get insurance or have to buy some. So I better figure out how that is going to work.