Headway

Tonight I’m making some headway finally.

I’ve been reading a few books on travel writing and how to build a plan. I feel like I have the talent and the experience in writing to make it work, but unfortunately I lack some of the tools of how to facilitate any of that sometimes. This is why we research, train, network, and learn how to ask the right questions. This is also where you get to realize that you’ve been doing some things wrong and need to scrap them and start all over again.

Those moments are probably the most frustrating.

For the last several years, I have been writing for an agency that assigns writers such as myself clients and assignments for a fixed rate per wordcount. The base rate is $11.50 for 300 words. Depending on your level, the rates go up from there, which can pay around $120 for 2000 words. In doing some research on what the actual going rate is for copywriting, blogs, whitepaper, product descriptions, and landing pages for websites…I can say that other than not having to cold-call clients, I am getting screwed.

The work used to be a lot more consistent too. Some weeks I would have upwards of 20 posts per week and at around $20 per, that was about $400 extra in my pocket–base! Some weeks were better than others. But management keeps shifting and sometimes they are good at farming out the assignments and sometimes they aren’t. What I’ve learned about actual scale pay rates is I am short-sheeting myself with these rates. By quite a lot.

I am also learning that the content that I put on my blogs—as fun as it is to write sometimes–is not doing the work for me that I need either. WordPress.com doesn’t pay me anything for the content that I post. The ads that orbit my blogs are not filling up my accounts, and as nice as it is to vent or post about life lessons, I’m going to starve to death if I keep heading in that direction.

My travel blog should be a marketing tool to bring me work from paying clients. It’s a good way to show some of my chops when it comes to writing, as well as explaining more about what I do and how I operate. So that needs to be fixed. It should also allow me to post affiliate links so I can jabber about products that I use and readers can click on links and I might get a few bucks out of the deal if they buy it.

Researching what I need to do is allowing me to fine-tune my process and feel a lot less like a complete impostor.

My website needs some work, such as hosting, emails with my own domain on them, and better clips. So, I’ll post links to that as I get it up and running. This site will probably be more editorial, personal stuff, and a journal on what I think, what I need to do, etc.

It feels good to have a plan and a track on where I need to go and what I want out of this experience. I feel a lot less like I am faltering and getting in my own way again. I’m also sending pitches out and that feels good too!

Thanks for reading and there should be plenty of changes in the upcoming weeks!

A writing rut

So, not counting the copy I was writing for life-sized sex dolls a few weeks ago, lately my writing has ground down to a crawl. That company is now gone. The agency where I get assignments has determined that those sorts of clients are pretty offensive and chose to release them. I don’t mind one bit, because they are right.

The process of moving, doing some renovation work on the house, and of course the stress of dealing with legal BS and the impasse of those difficulties has been distracting me from working on the book. I’m not a fan. The few times I’ve been able to sit down and write, I just stare at the screen. I wonder where that momentum went that I had back in October. I used to just fly high with the word counts, sometimes writing until 3 or 4 in the morning. The story was telling itself.

Now that I’ve moved, I almost feel like the story was left behind in those walls where so much of it happened, and now the memories, the emotions, everything else are just fading away.

Tonight, I sat down to write some more copy for companies. This one was a website in Australia that sells high-end strollers and prams. I have enough versatility to write the Queens English, with all the old school spellings (just throw some more U’s into the mix), but the work is on-spec, so it could be a while before I hear of anything. I need to get caught up. I need to focus on writing for paying customers.

*As a note to my ex wife’s attorney–who seems to be one of my most loyal readers these days–just because I wrote something doesn’t mean it is/will be selling. Wordcounts don’t mean much in this game. Look up “On spec” if that isn’t clear to you yet.

The More You Know | BRAIN TRUST MUSIC

The book is stalled, but I have been working more on the personal site. My readers are always supportive and seem to enjoy the stories I am sharing. The big questions of “Why am I doing this?” and “Who even cares?” haunt me. When I get some feedback, it feels good and it justifies work that right now I have been doing for the love of writing alone. Some feedback is nice, because writing is very lonely at times. Though the words you send out into the world might affect others, and reach dark corners of their heart and shine light into them, you might never know that.

Sometimes when you talk to people they don’t understand why you would do something unless someone was paying you to do it. To them, I would have to say money doesn’t have anything to do with the currency of the soul. You should try doing something you love just once without expecting to get paid for it. You’ll live longer. You’ll be happier.

The book is stalled where I left it, which is about 3/4 of the way through the story. Maybe tomorrow will bring something new and the words will come to me out of the aether like they did before. What I do know is I am ready to do more. I just need to stop getting in my own way.

*further note. It doesn’t help a writer’s creative process when someone is stalking them online and using misquoted or out of context versions of what they wrote against them. In everyone’s common interests, stop getting in my way and let me work. Thanks.

That walkin’ against the wind $#!T

Today, I wrote my ass off for two posts. I know there are going to be days like this. I have had good days where I wrote 15 posts about lift kits and grille guards and days where I have written two posts about motorbike accidents, but today was two posts that might win me $37. One was for an air conditioning company and the other was a Netflix documentary review about “Human Nature”. I had to watch an hour and a half long documentary and IF they buy it, they will pay $25. So that averages out to $12.50 per hour.

IF either of them buy it.

My brain is fried, but at least I know more about CRISPR than I did before. I guess one way to look at this is that I would have watched the documentary for free anyway. Now I’m doing it for money.

It will be like walking against the wind to write enough in the upcoming days, weeks, months, years to provide a base income for myself. That part really sucks. Especially since many of the clients I was writing crazy amounts of stuff for left due to a change in management with the agency I’m writing for. Right now I’m in the process of rebuilding a client base, which takes time.

Tonight I’m going to try to work on the novel. I’ve been sketching out so many scenes towards the end that now my inkblots are bleeding backward through the story and hopefully will meet somplace in the middle. Future edits will probably remove a lot of things and be integral to another book I have been thinking about in the life of this same character.

I dunno. Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t cooled off with this story and some days when I sit down to write I just can’t help but think I’m over it. Then there are days I get fired up again and wish that was all I had to do.

Today fell a little flat, and for some weird reason, I took an hour and a half nap this evening. I just closed my eyes and and couldn’t stay awake. Maybe a lot of the recent stress is finally releasing. Maybe I’m finally letting go of some things and now they are only memories instead of recent wounds. I feel like a house that has been packed up for a big move. It’s the same house, but the rooms are all empty, filled with only possibilities, but there is still a lot of work ahead to put everything back in them that is needed.

Every day brings new challenges, and life comes at you like a mime from hell. I just wish it wouldn’t do that walkin’ against the wind shit. I hate that.