Why writers like me require ‘day jobs’

Currently, I have two part-time jobs (totaling about 54 hours a week) and I do freelance on the side. With one PT job I work at a newspaper run by some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. Professional, classy are great words to describe them. The other job is at a gasoline station. You learn to further develop your sense of humor and acquire a thick skin. With the freelance, I currently am waiting for some new assignments from a recreation magazine. This client’s been very good to me. Satisfying work and I get paid very well for it. On more than one occasion those assignments have helped to pay past-due bills or buy my wife, kids or myself much-needed items.

I tell my wife that I could ever get two or three more regular clients like the rec magazine, things would look up for us financially. Yes, I’d be very busy and would probably have to take naps more often (something I rarely do), but we could get done a lot of things that we need.

With that, I visit freelance websites frequently in hopes of picking up a few more clients. Out of every 25 or so lines I toss out, I catch a fish. Most of the time, the fish turns out to be far too small and must be cast back into the water.

And then there’s this one I received.

The company requires well-researched, well-written articles without any filler words. Rates are:

Tier 1 Flat Rates: 200 words for $1.40, going up to $5.60 for 800 words.

Tier 2 Flat Rates: 200 words for $2.00, going up to 900 words at $9.00.

Tier 3 Flat Rates: 200 words for $ 3.00, going up to 1,000 words for $15.00.

It’s something I may try out: the e-mail says these are the types of articles that can be written in 20 minutes. If indeed they can, then these pay rates could work. But if it actually takes about three hours to write a Tier 3 article at 1,000 words, then you’re looking at $5 per hour, which is even less than minimum wage.

We’ll see how it goes…

Richard Zowie runs several blogs. Post comments below or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

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