Writing to make ends meet…

2011 Is Here

I cannot believe it is 2011 already!  Time sure flies.

This will be the year I get my finances under control.  I need to find more lucrative writing gigs and get out of the hole I’ve dug for myself over 2010 financially.  I’m constantly worried about how I’m going to make ends meet, so if I could just get back out of the serious debt I’m in, I would relieve so much stress.

So long to 2010 and let’s get 2011 rolling and on the right track!

The Magic Bullet

Oh, boy, did Christmas kill my checking account!  I’m so far behind on bills, I’m not sure if I’ll ever catch up.  I’ve been scouring ads looking for a decent gig to help, but so far no luck.

What I need is a “magic bullet” that can take care of all of the additional income I need to keep afloat.  I’m willing to work hard and lots of hours, but it has to be worth the time I’m spending on it.  Something education related would probably be the best fit for me, but I do love entertainment as well, so I could go with that, too.  It just seems that companies like to take advantage of freelance writers by paying less than minimum wage per hour when you break down all the requirements.

Hopefully something will come up soon.  I’ll keep searching in the meantime.

I’m Done at Demand Studios

While, at first glimpse, the gig looks like a great one, in reality Demand Studios isn’t worth the time.  The getting paid twice a week was great…when my articles were actually edited and approved for publishing on time.  Between the time it takes to wade through the available titles, find the required amount of research, write the article, proofread the article, wait for a copy editor to review it, possibly rewrite it if it comes back, and then wait for the copy editor again, it’s just not worth $15.  There are literally no titles right now out of the advertised 300,000 that I can write with any sort of base knowledge that wouldn’t take me hours to research and write.  While some of the anonymous copy editors were really good and helpful, others were completely unprofessional and asked for crazy edits that made no sense.  With only one rewrite shot and no way to communicate with the copy editor for clarification (submitting a clarification ticket could take days to get an answer), it was a crap shoot.

The “community” on the message board was also not helpful and actually would gang on up on people stating their opinions about the way the company was run.  Writers were often talked down to and made to feel like lesser humans in some cases.  While under the guise of “professionals” there to help, really the message board posters were just a “mean girls” clique.

So, steer clear of Demand Studios unless you know a lot about automotive everything and have a ton of bookmarks of appropriate .edu and .gov sites.  Otherwise, you’re going to be wasting your time for the amount of money you make.

So I’ve been writing about a month now for Demand Studios, but unfortunately, not steadily.  There just aren’t any article titles available that I could conceivably write in a decent amount of time for the price.  I tried to get promoted to the LiveStrong health and fitness type articles, since those would be more up my alley, but I don’t have the right “score” yet to be allowed to write those types of articles.  I got dinged really hard on my first couple of articles for not meeting their specifications exactly and now it’s nearly impossible to get that score back up to where it needs to be to write for LiveStrong.

I’m out looking for gigs again.  I’m really behind on my bills and I can’t keep going on like this.  There has to be a way to make more from writing.  I just haven’t been able to find it yet.

Hit the Wall

I have lost all motivation today.  I had a goal to write $300 worth of articles this weekend for Demand Studios, but I’ve barely finished $45 worth so far. The articles are just not coming to me today and I’m getting distracted way too easily. This is not a good sign for my goal.  I was hoping to have those articles all approved by midnight tomorrow so I could have the $300 pay day on Tuesday.  At this rate, it will not happen (and I’m not even sure they would get through the editing process by then anyway).

I think what I’ll do is take a nap (if my kids will let me) and come back to writing after dinner tonight.  Maybe I just need some time away from article writing and things will start to flow again.  Let’s hope that’s all it takes.

What do you do when you hit the writing wall?  Any advice?

What Does it Take?

I have tried, for years, to get into About.com as a guide and/or a contributing writer.  I’ve never even gotten into prep even though I make sure I am more than highly qualified for what they want for their guides before I apply.  The worst part is that I never hear ANYTHING, one way or another, for months and months.  I rely on their automated “check application status” link and always get the same response: “we have not had a chance to review your application…”

BULL!  I applied 5 months ago!  How have you not reviewed my application yet?  If you’ve reviewed it and don’t want my services just tell me so I can move on and quit obsessively checking the status of my applications!  Man!

Okay.  Now I need to go check my status again.  Sigh.

I Voted, Did You?

It’s election day all across the USA and I did my civic duty and voted. I had a governor, senator, and representative up for vote today, so I made my voice heard. Even if my candidates don’t win, I did my part and voted for who best represents me and my values. I’m keeping my eyes on the results now that the polls have closed, but I don’t plan to stay up too late.  I’m tired!

I’ve been writing as much as possible these last few days and my eyes are starting to glaze over.  I did get into Break Studios today, but so far, there are no articles I am comfortable writing about up for grabs. One of their sites, however, is a NASCAR blog site, so I’m going to pounce on that as soon as something opens up.

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