Monday, April 9, 2012

Two Years of Blogging: A Few Thoughts From the Writer

Greetings Friends,

On April 6, the Ink & Paint Creative Writing Services blog turned two years old. Most blogs fall by the wayside long before they hit this particular milestone; many others become such vainglorious sources of drivel that you'd sooner stick needles in your eyes rather than read what the scribe has to say; still more are just middling wastes of bandwidth. Which category does this one fall into? I'd like to think that those who read my "etchings" appreciate my candour, sense of humour, and interpretations of the subjects I choose to write about. If not, there's always the "Next Blog" key you can click on at the top of the page. The choice is yours. The words are mine.

Here are some thoughts about what I've learned from working as a freelance writer for the past two-and-a-half years. Be forewarned: some of it ain't too pretty.

It Is Possible to Hate Your Job: The writer who tells you they love their job 24/7 is as full of shit as those "you've won the British lottery" e-mails that clog your Spam file. Just because we get to make our own hours and dress in the"Freelance Writers' Union" uniform (the rattiest t-shirt and sweatpants you would never want to be seen wearing in public), doesn't mean we're happy and peppy and bursting with joy all the time. Sometimes, we become burned out; we want to smash our laptops against the wall; we want to stare mindlessly at the television watching hours of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" until our brains turn into oatmeal.

I Miss the Luxury of Getting Regular Paycheques: You never realize how nice it is to get that paycheque every other week until you don't get it. Doing your own billing is tedious; having to hustle to do as much work as possible before the end of every month turns something you love to do into a giant albatross around your neck. Still, I'd rather do this than attempt to co-exist with an office full of inept sociopaths.

Yes, This Is a Real Job: Contrary to popular belief, being a freelance writer is a "real" job. Many people tend to think that unless you have a publishing deal that pays you six figure advances and allows you to doodle from your Eames chair in your well-appointed wood-paneled study, you don't actually work for a living. News flash, folks: this is as real a job as any I've ever had. If you don't believe me, read my blog.

The Internet is a Blessing and a Curse: If it weren't for the Internet, I would likely be working either as an English teacher wishing I could indulge in corporal punishment, or as a lackey in one of those aforementioned offices full of inept sociopaths. Alas, the Internet allows me to do what I do and get paid for it. The flip side, however, is that I have to endure  proving my worth to clients who believe that cut-rate Web site content written by computers located in the Philippines and India is much more cost-effective than my services. 

Google is My Rabbi: And, like any 12 year-old soon-to-be-Bar Mitzvah boy, I am subject to a thorough metaphorical ass-kicking at every possible turn.

Despite all of the above...

I Wouldn't Trade This for Anything: So what if I don't have J.K. Rowling or Stephen King bucks in the bank? I have skill, integrity, and heartburn that could bring down a rhino. It's all good.


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