Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Becoming a Writer

I found out about a website that hires freelance writers.  It seems fairly straightforward.  You apply, are (hopefully) accepted and then write articles about topics you know.  Payment is twice a week through Paypal.  Extra money would be less than a luxury.  More like very high on the list of things we could really use these days.

In each of my last two positions, writing has been part of the job.  These days I write for a local business journal.  (I land in the top three writers.  The rest, sadly, have serious issues with basic writing.)  Previously, I wrote detailed evaluations of my clients' vocational assessment results.  (That's right, I helped guide the futures of complete strangers.  Occasionally I was able to help someone grow or change paths because of what they presented.  I miss that job sometimes.  Then I remember the crazy people, like the former cop [who'd been fired] who kept dropping in to see me... even brought his kids to introduce us once.  And the woman who blurted out, "I am NOT A SEX OFFENDER!" while refusing to get up from my coworker's desk.  Oh, and the homeless guy who would come into our building and try to engage in kung fu type matches with my clients, or with the kids from the juvenile hall program across the hall.  That always went over well.)

I do not consider myself a great writer.  I'm more serviceable.  I know this, and it's mostly okay.  If I happen to glean some bit of skill or knowledge while reading, I try to apply it.  There is a whole world of writing rules that I have no inkling of (yes, I am aware of the dangers of dangling prepositions).

All the same, I've put my resume together.  I need to come up with a 300 word article.  Drawing a total blank.

While looking through the website, I came across their style guide.  It seems that I break at least three major rules regularly.  Some rules I've heard of, but don't understand well enough to know if I'm more inclined to follow them or break them (which seems kind of lame, don't you think?).  Others are more technical and easy to change, like how I tend to type phone numbers versus how they want them.

It just makes me wonder if I would even be accepted.  There's only one way to find out, of course.  So if you have any topic suggestions for a 300 word article I might be able to write in an active voice, with traditional subject-verb-object construction and limited "to be" verb usage* (the mark of amateurs, don'cha know), I'd be ever so grateful.

*If I could present my articles in ASL, there'd be no problem omitting the verb "to be" as it is considered redundant and, therefore, generally not used.  Alack and alas.

1 comment:

Bossy Betty said...

Lord, woman! You are indeed a writer. How about something about blogging? Being pregnant? Freecycle? Measuring yourself with toilet paper. (Maybe not)

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