Writing: Not for the faint of heart

If you are thinking about becoming a writer, please read this article first!

Becoming a writer is not as easy as people make it seem. There are a lot of sweat, blood and tears that goes into it. There are a lot of hard hours, hours spent where you aren’t writing at all, and times when you just want to throw in the towel and do something else. It’s not easy, at all.

If you have children you have to be prepared to tell them “This is my work time, I can’t play with you right now”. Hire a nanny, or someone you trust, to take care of them if they aren’t in school so that you can actually work a 8-hour shift. You have to stand firm, telling others that you need the computer to work (and actually work!)

There are a lot of good writing sites out there, Contently is one (didn’t work for me, but it has worked for a lot of my friends). Textbroker is another, and Zery’s is yet another (www.textbroker.com and http://www.zerys.com). With Textbroker, I can’t say this enough, you have to advance through a complicated series of testing done on your writing, and with so many other writers out there submitting their articles as well as you, most of the time Textbroker will just give out a 3-star rating en mass instead of doing what they are supposed to (this has happened to me twice now and I’m still stuck at 3-stars even though I’ve been working there for a year now).

Be prepared for disparaging remarks. I’ve gotten “She lives off well-fare” and “You know she must be lazy, it doesn’t take much talent to write. I do it all the time!” If you have children you will get those who believe you are neglecting your children. I can’t tell you how many times members of my own family have called Child Protective Services on me because they thought I wasn’t taking care of my children properly (it was a combination of being a writer and a Witch, and I think it was more me being a witch than anything else….).

Set up a schedule, and keep it! For me, I work from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning until I can’t work anymore at night. When there aren’t any articles that can be done (either because there aren’t any orders for any or because there are articles that I feel are beyond my knowledge and capability to research) I do other things. Currently I have my own Etsy shop where I’m selling some of the things I’ve made during my off times. Or, I’m trying to either find an agent to represent me so that I can get my book published, or a publishing firm that isn’t a self-publish gimmick (yes I’m aware that a lot of good authors have gotten their start from self-publishing, but I don’t have that kind of money, I barely made $400 last year).

Learn how to balance things. I don’t have the luxury of having people I can trust to take care of my kids so that I can work, so I balance my work time with strategic break periods so that I can clean the house and take care of the kids.

And finally, when you start down this road, realize that you aren’t the only writer out there looking for a payday. There are others out there that are only writing because they feel like writing is an easy paycheck, and they will bulldoze you. This goes for clients as well. Always be willing to do a re-write, and make sure the client knows that if they aren’t happy with the article you are willing to re-write it for them. Never let a client have the ability to flat-out reject your hard work, not unless you have tried diligently to make sure that the article is the way they want it (that is one of the reasons I absolutely love Zery’s, if you write an article and it’s the way the client wanted it, you can refute their rejection and win because Zery’s moderators will read the order specifications, review the messages between you and the client, and then review the article. If everything is the way it’s supposed to be, they make the client pay you for your work).

Rant: Life and Relationships in general (mine specifically)

You know what really gets to me more than anything else? It’s not an unclean room, it’s not racism (though that is really up there in my pet peeves), it’s laziness.

What grown adult does not know how to take care of themselves and doesn’t have the desire to learn?!

Here is my schedule for any given day to use as an example.

1. Wake up, feed kids if they are awake. If they just woke up, hop on computer really quickly to see if there is any work because as soon as hubby-to-be wakes up, the computer is no longer yours to use.

2. Do whatever jobs are available within the time space of two (2) hours.

3. Cook hubby-to-be’s breakfast while he surfs Reddit.

4. Grab a book and wait for him to get done eating.

5. Clean up entire house (even future father-in-law’s room) making sure to vacuum the carpets and sweep the tile floors. Mop if necessary.

6. Wash clothes.

7. Cook lunch.

8. Feed kids and hubby-to-be, call FFIL to eat.

9. Clean up kitchen and put away any extra food.

10. Grab book and read while huby-to-be plays LoL of continues to serf Reddit/listen or watch YouTube videos.

That’s it. The kids I can understand, but isn’t the purpose of being a helpmate to someone else is to ACTUALLY help them?!! I haven’t been paid in 2 weeks because I haven’t been able to find work during the time frame I’ve been given because now I’m so exhausted at night from being forced to stay up until 2am so he can role play with me I’m sleeping later. My eldest, goddess bless her, has taken it upon herself to help me out and she wakes up with the younger two and feeds them a bowl of cereal each morning I’m sleeping late. I’ve had a perpetual migraine for 3 days because I’m not getting enough sleep (and since I haven’t been paid the groceries are running low so I’m not eating either) and no one seems to care.

FFIL screams about any dishes left in the sink, wants them cleaned up but is too busy playing online poker to stop screaming and actually DO something once in a while. I’m at the end of my ropes. I make enough to help out with the bills here, but I know there’s no way I can support myself let alone my kids AND my fiance.

He hugs me and tells me I’m the most wonderful woman in the world. He tells me that he’s lucky to have me with him and he doesn’t know what he would do if I was not there. Well, for one he’d starve because no matter what I’ve tried to do, he refuses to go into the kitchen and learn how to cook anything that can’t be heated in a microwave (and I don’t keep too many of that stuff around because he refuses to clean up after himself and each morning I will find trash all over the floor in front of the computer from where he just eats and tosses the wrappers on the floor. I don’t want ants and other insects, so I don’t keep too many easily cooked foods around). He refuses to clean!

That has been a huge debate between the two of us. I want the room cleaned, everything put up and away in the places where they belong. He doesn’t feel comfortable in a clean room, says that since he moved around a lot when he was younger, a clean room makes him feel like he’s going to be moving. When I do clean, he freaks out, doesn’t sleep at night, sleeps a few hours during the day and is generally a pain in my ass every time. It’s gotten to the point where half my clothes are put up, the other half is on the floor to the closet and his gaming systems are taking over the floor while I struggle to find some middle ground where we both can be happy. He refuses to clean or help clean.

And then there’s the biggest issue of all. Trust. I feel like I can’t trust him at all. For anyone whose read any of my blogs before, you know that he lied to me about who he was from the very beginning. Made up this entire life and maintained it for the better part of a year. He still talks to his ex-girlfriends, especially to the one who hates me and uses every word he utters about his life being horrible to further her own hate. He refuses to listen to me when I have something to say. It’s gotten to the point that where what little self-confidence I had is down the drain.

I’m more stupid than a child.

I’m so childish I don’t deserve to be treated like an adult.

I never have anything important to say so I might as well not speak at all.

It’s almost like I left one abuser for another! He has his good moments, but I simply can’t trust him. I told him the truth about everything, he was one of the few I first opened up to and while we were 2,000+ miles apart, he was the only one who was supportive of me growing and becoming better. Now that I’m here by his side, I have dreams that depict me having a better life without him and I wake the moment I reach out to him in my dreams. I’m too close to the situation to know if this is my brain trying to tell me something or if it’s my own frustrations showing something better without him because that is what I truly feel at times.

I’m a suicidal depressant. When I’m not busy, I’m thinking of ways to kill myself. When I’m bored, I’m thinking of ways to kill myself. I have to stay active. Yet no one seems to understand. I can’t trust the man I love, I feel as if he’s more abusive than my ex-husband, if not physically then definitely emotionally and mentally. I couldn’t pay the NetFlix bill, so they cut off our access. I got fussed at about that. I have yet to find an agent, I’m told that I’m not working hard enough to find one. I get it from both sides, from both of the other adults that live in this house, but no one wants to help.

I go to bed hurting, physically cramping, each and every night. I struggle to come up with ideas for a role play because hubby-to-be wants to role play with me. It’s gotten to the point where I pretend to be asleep when he turns to me and says “Ok, let’s rp” so that he’ll go back to whatever he’s doing and let me actually sleep.  I’m tired. I’m sick. I’m in pain. And I can’t find any work to take my mind off this bull s$*%.

Wow

It has been a long time since I was able to get on here to do a post, and while I know I have some followers, I do apologize for the long delay. I have been testing out various freelance writing sites and dealing with the day-to-day requirements of being a writer/mom/wife/etc. So, here’s my update on all things Freelance!

First off, if you are a writer, don’t be afraid to put your foot down with a client. They are not always right when it comes to the articles they are requesting. For example. This morning I accepted a job about aid for low-income families needing aid with child care. Now any parent who has needed help knows that there are several places out there that will help you. Some states call it Work First, others call it Aid for Dependent Children, and others call it something entirely different. But there is a nationwide program that not only helps put children in child care so that the parents can work, but also helps supplement their income until they can be established in a job setting. Along with this government program, there are other programs that are there to help low-income parents put their children in childcare so that they can work. One program is the SPAOA, Single Parent Alliance of America. I wrote the article, sent it to the client, only for the client to return it for revision with a nasty note attached.

“There is no government agency that helps low-income families with child care. Sentence structure and grammar is horrible. The SPAOA is a for-profit organization, they don’t help people at all, they sell information. Honestly, there is nothing here that I can use at all.”

Now, if the individual, who is only known as Client ID #2165217 on my favorite site Textbroker, had just asked for a restructuring of the sentences or correct any grammatical error then I would have been fine with the whole revision thing. But for this person to come out and say that there are no government programs to help low-income families at all, well that just irked my tators (pardon the southern expression). So I sent this individual this reply:

“I have lived in 12 different states, and in each state there has been Work First, it is not exclusive to only certain states but is nationwide. The SPAOA is not a for-profit organization. I have had to use them and I can tell you that if it hadn’t been for their help I wouldn’t have been able to get my law degree as well as find housing and a vehicle that was less than 10 years old. Maybe you should do your research instead of kicking mine down. Like I said in the end of the article, a simple search shows what’s available and what’s not. Work First is a nationwide assistance program, used to be called Aid for Dependent Children in some places. I’m canceling the article, I won’t write for someone who doesn’t know anything about what they are wanting. It’s obvious you are a spam requester. “

I thought that would be that. But no. This individual responded to me with this:

“I’ve purchased more than 100 articles on textbroker.com and this is by far the worst article I have received. Go to the SPAOA website and the VERY first line of text says “SPAOA.org is a for profit organization comprised of information, resources, offers from third party affiliates and benefits for Single Parents…..” As for Work First there are various programs by that name and none are an official national program so any statement needs to be more specific. Some of the “Work First” programs only help people find employment , some others help people with disabilities and some also do help with child care. Please do cancel the article, I’d love to have someone else do it.”

So after this, I blacklisted the requester and told them to not contact me ever again. In situations like this, where the client has no experience with dealing with the various programs, and thinks to tell you, the expert on this field, that your knowledge is false, it is ok to put your foot down and refuse the work given.

One great place that allows for this is Zery’s, http://www.zerys.com. With this site, you have a bi-weekly payday, no matter what you have earned in that time frame you will receive the money that you have earned. There is no minimum amount to earn before you get paid, and there are moderators that run the site and look for invalid accounts that might post up jobs for scam purposes. I have had this happen on Zery’s twice, both articles I had written were rejected when the policy of the page is that no article is rejected unless there is clear violations of the order being made. I was contacted by the Zery’s moderators to let me know that those clients were fraudulent accounts and that the rejections would be taken care of. I have only worked with this site for a month, but I can tell you, that this policy is by far the best one I have seen on a writing site and is something that I have been saying all along about writers.

Writers need the chance to grow and learn. They shouldn’t have their works rejected flat out, but instead have it sent for revisions so that they can learn what mistakes they have made and know what to look for in future works.