What have I been up to? Lots of trawling the web and various “talent exchanges” looking for freelance work. It’s dire.
I had no idea what the working world had come to. I joined an online freelance network where jobs are posted and freelancers bid on them. There are lots of these networks, and they mostly pay in miniscule amounts that make you wonder if it’s worth the time to write the proposal and submit a bid. Here are some real ads (paraphrased):
“Write two to three articles per hour... strict $3 per hour budget.”
“Looking for quality writers - 100 original articles, 500 words - $1 each. Also add two pictures and a video to each article.”
“Need a proofreader for a three books, each is 90,000 words. $200 for all three.”
Yikes! The thing is, people are bidding on these jobs! Some of the bids are in countries with lower costs of living, but a recent ebook job went to an editor in the US who is only charging $7.65 an hour, and she has to cover her own overhead as a freelancer.
I just did an editing test for another online agency where they advise you to change words to contractions, because otherwise the content writers are guilty of "word padding." Heaven forbid a writer might earn an extra three cents!
However, some of the editors and writers in the forums on LinkedIn exemplify this new standard of quantity vs. quality. This was posted by someone who claims to be a writer and editor, and I copied it verbatim:
“its nice to know there is more then me that loves text and improving it.”
These must be the people who are writing for how-the-heck-do-I-do-that.com and suck-my-wiki.net and your-Q-my-A.crp.
Using the term "content mill" is apt - it's like the old industrial days where people worked 72 hours a week just to earn enough money for a crust of bread. I’m shocked, I’m stunned, I’m depressed.
So let's change the subject and I'll show you what I’ve done in my spare time.
I had a large metal frame that I bought at a second-hand store, and it was hanging on my fence with nothing in it. When I cleaned up my Craft Cave, I found a stack of used CDs (leftovers from multimedia work that my husband did - these are all tests). So I glued some together and added other pieces of junk, and voila!
The way they catch the light is pretty cool, but the back is colorful, too.
Now it hangs outside my window.
I also did some more work on a little diorama that I started months ago. It's a decaying French salon. Sort of like Miss Havisham's place in Great Expectations.
The book on the shelf is made with pieces of an old French encyclopedia.
I still need to add cobwebs and do the exterior. And let it sit and get dusty. Ooooo, I need to add some drips of candle wax, too!
One more thing - this is my husband's band, with the amazing Beth Milton on vocals. Also check out "Under Your Spell." I couldn't get the YouTube link to work for that one.