Thursday, September 10, 2009

How much is your word worth?

As I have mentioned on occasion, I am looking for work. While I near the tipping point of seeking a factory line job, I still hold out hope that I can find a decent writing gig, the elusive teaching position, or, in the words of DW, something that is fulfilling, even if it pays minimum wage.

So, as part of my daily routine, I go to the Oregon State Jobs listings pages, Jobdango, Monster, and Craig's List. On the first three I generally find nothing except reminders that perhaps I should have stayed in the medical field as a youth. Craig's is littered daily with opportunities similar to that below:

This is a part-time position that will give you some extra money and build your portfolio. It should not be a full-time job, though.

Here's the job:

1 - I send you a link to an article.
2 - You read the article.
3 - Then you rewrite/summarize the article, adding a few sentences that are specific to our business. In general, I will expect to get your writing back within 24 hours of my sending the article. If it doesn't happen every time, that's fine. You get to go on vacation once in a while! But the general expectation is speed.
4 - I edit the article and send you the finished version.
5 - You look at it, think about what I've changed, and what you could do differently next time to get it more like I want it.
6 - Repeat
7 - Once a month, I mail you a check. You get $3 for one sort of blog post (3-4 formulaic paragraphs) and $5 for another type (longer, more thoughtful, or a press release). It's $3 unless I say otherwise.

Like I said, it's not a lot of money, but I expect a fast writer will be able to churn them out in about 10 minutes once you get a little practice. The first 5-10 may take longer.

I hope to send you 3-5 links per day. But it's totally dependent on the news cycle. Some days there'll be nothing. Other days there could be 10 or more.

Right now I've got a backlog, so until that gets cleared there could actually be quite a bit of writing to do.

To apply:
-Writing samples (in word, pdf, or links)
-An oath of confidentiality: "I promise that I will never reveal whom I am working for. However, I am allowed to use my writing for my portfolio, but I will expunge the name of business and all identifying words out of the writing before adding it to my portfolio."

I just can't think or type that fast. And while I have very specific ideas about why there are so many lowball writing gigs advertised (it has to do with the plethora of blogs and the internet in general), I will leave it to part of a Bukowski poem. I am certain that I do not have it perfectly memorized.

And God looked down on the world
and said
I see I have made a helluva lot of poetry
but damn few poets.


TenMile said...

See email arriving at the speed of light and totally unchecked by cosmic powers or Presidential Retoric.

joxum said...

Ah yes, Bukowski, one of Americas finest writers.

Yes, you got the quote wrong, though:

"But as God said - crossing his legs - I see I have made plenty of poets, but not so very much poetry."


bastinptc said...

joxum - Thank you for the clarification. The meaning in how Bukowski wrote it, and how I have remembered/altered it, is interesting. In the context of the poem, Bukowski, as a poet, becomes Jesus. My revision is that of an acolyte.

Anonymous said...

It's rough.

it takes me a month to translate a poem by Cavafy. Here, let me torment you with a sample:

His God Abandons Anthony

Midnight's broken by the songs and gorgeous music
Of armies in the dark. All the plans that you made,
all the goals that you worked for will never be realized.
You can't laugh. You can't cry. You can't choose 'tween grief and disbelief.
Just pretend you are so brave that you planned for the time you had to say goodbye to Alexandria.

Don't cowardly whine nor moan about all you lost.
Though your body is shaking, keep your mind serene.
Walk up to the window and listen to the sounds.
The songs and gorgeous music of armies in the dark
Mark your last delight. Just pretend you are so brave
That you can say goodbye to Alexandria.

And it takes a month.

Good luck looking for work.