The Freelancer (May 7, 2009)

I haven’t even worked my last day at the ADA yet (that is tomorrow), and I already have more freelance writing work than I can handle. Ok, excuse the bit of proud hyperbole. I can handle it just fine. I just can’t believe my good fortune. About a week ago, my Aunt Diane sent me a link to a web site where they post all these “work from home” writing opportunities. I replied to quite a few of them and was surprised at the results. I would have been happy to get even one return call, and didn’t have my hopes very high that would happen, given my lack of experience. However, I will say that my StreetWise piece, and the work Jen and I have done on this little blog, have paid serious dividends in short order. I used them both as examples of my work. Obviously, I did not send links to the pieces about my drunken hijinks in Atlanta. Funny sure, but doesn’t necessarily scream, “Take me seriously dammit!”

My first client is a life coach from California. He takes his work very personally: relationship counseling, with a focus on infidelity. He wanted a writer to develop short 500-1000 word pieces on various topics with a focus on making the articles very easy to read (8th grade level), and increasingly “hittable” on Google. There’s a whole science to it that Jay explained to me. Not to sound arrogant, but I found it a challenge to “dumb it down” at first. I am normally so verbose with my work (as you good people can attest), that I usually end up tripping over my own tongue, word count rising at an alarming rate, while I do my best to appear intelligent. My first piece for Jay was published today:

http://www.surviving-infidelity.org/husband-is-gay-why-men-cheat-you-discovered-that-your-husband-is-gay.html

The topic: how perfect for me right? My regular readers are aware of my fondness for all things gay. The second client I just took on is a company that writes sample term papers, thesis and reports for colleges and universities to use as reference materials. Basically, they give me an article and a question, and I write about it as if I were still in school. At the bottom of my heart, I am nothing more than a bookish, academic nerd, so this is right up my alley. These folks are so busy they were ready to get me started yesterday, but I put them off until next week so I can wrap things up nicely at the ADA first.

The money I make from both of these jobs will be just about enough each month to pay mine and Eddie’s cable, phone, internet and electric bill. I have to keep reminding myself this is not the point. No one becomes a writer to get rich. My issue (isn’t there always one?) is that I have to fight the persistent fear that I am a selfish freeloader. Freelancing keeps my skills sharp and gives good copy for my resume while I hunt for full-time work. I am still doing that. I just have to be patient. I am so lucky to have a partner who has more of that, and more faith in me, than I do myself.

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