Okay, so I’ve been traveling down this “freelance writing” rabbit hole for a few weeks. It’s not like I don’t know how to write or do things. So, I’m pretty confident that I can do this “pay me for my words” gig. I’ve written web content, helped curate websites, done e-mail marketing, and have been collaboratively writing fiction for over a decade. I’ve been editing personal statements, essays, and friend’s e-books as well. Experience, check. It should be easy then, right?
I’ve been looking at all the free job boards I can find. There are posts – but nothing really fits the type of experience I have. So today I decided to sign-up for a 30-day trial at Freelancer.com – a lot of these “paid” job boards have the quality work, or so I’ve read. So I’ve believed.
I put in my information to future-pay for this job board service to have access to the posts. I’m not sure it’s worth the money yet, so I’m glad they at least offer people a trial to see if it can be profitable. I spent my time this morning trolling all these project proposals and some of them make me fucking stare. And stare. And wonder. What the fuck? Is this a scam?
Cheaper rates and female will be preffered.
What the fuck? Does that mean this potential “employer” (are they called employers?) or pay-you-to-write person, will require a picture of my boobs to prove I’m a woman? Or are they trying to highlight the fact that women often 1) under sell themselves 2) get paid less 3) will… what? It’s not even like the ‘web related work’ is female focused. I could get behind a website that’s Female Power. Or for women, that makes sense. It’d be weird to ask a man to write about the experience of breastfeeding from a woman’s perspective. But this one… okay, data processing? FileMaker? As a sex specific posting? It made me uncomfortable reading it.
Back in MY day people simply saw the ‘nerd’ of the class and offered them a job to plagiarize for them. Now kids are posting to Freelance boards to get help on their work. I am astounded. And amused. And surprised? I mean, I don’t even know. People bid on it too. I didn’t sign up to be someone’s report writer for a college class. I could help someone by proof-reading, editing, giving direction. But outright creating the project? When I was in college, I couldn’t afford to pay for my education and eat, much less seek people out to do my work for me.
Am I writing the new – “back in my day we walked to school barefoot in snow with no jackets” fucking story?
Granted, some of these ads it’s clear the person is not a native English speaker. Fuck, Freelancer.com makes you take a test to prove you understand the English language (at a price) so that you can be certified for potential employers/payers/what you want to call them. This one just made me burst out laughing. I don’t know how to map a product or get a result. I mean, should I lie? 11 people bid on this. Did they draw a picture? Am I missing something?
It’s like having a paid membership for Craigslist
Not all of the content is shit, but a good portion you flip through is a waste of time. If you’re paying for a membership, I feel like the company you are paying, should be able to weed out the stupid. And yet, you see people bidding on it. So the demand to fill those stupid ads is there. It’s just not my style.
I’m not a snob, I swear
Okay, fine. I am. I mean, I want to pursuing writing as a career because I enjoy it. I enjoy the sound of me clickity-clacking on the keyboard. Of thinking about the structure of a post. Of taking the time to research an article. Of developing characters. I enjoy writing. Otherwise why would I be bothering trying to make basically a small business doing it?
I do not enjoy bidding on jobs that make me feel like all I have to do is shout, “I DO IT”.
Unless in shouting “I DO IT”, I am getting myself lined up to take care of my children that my wife doesn’t think I can take care of. Mrs. Doubtfire plot point check. Only, let’s not relive that. Though the entire montage of Robin Williams pretending to be potential candidates was and still is fucking hysterical.
I NEEE people who can post coherent requests and not just have me throw ideas their way so they can steal my content pitches or fuck with my time.
And then as I’m writing this entry and casually keep checking job boards (admittedly, for content for this post at this point after an entire day of disappointment), I see a post for a call out for people to COMPLETE FUCKING MEDICAL PROGNOSIS NOTES.
This is not what I expected at all when I signed up for this site
I expected literary magazines, copywriter requests, SEO optimization job posting requests. I expected bloggers seeking people to write for their blog niche. I expected a lot more than I NEEE and WRITE MY FUCKING MEDICAL REPORTS.
I really have hope that this entire endeavor isn’t a waste of my time. There’s plenty of sites out there that claim this is a possible pursuit for people. And then you follow their advice and stare at the reality presented to you. It’s gross, guys. It’s fucking gross to spend precious time looking for work only to see that all your focus isn’t giving you any leads.
Too real, too soon.
At least I got a fucking laugh over it today! If you can’t laugh about things, what’s the point? One should never be amazed over what it’s like out there in the Real World.
My professional background in biotechnology as a research chemist and as a veterinary technician has allowed me to have experienced two vastly different fields and for that I am thankful. In both careers, I have mentored, encouraged, and developed talent.
As a mother of two (a daughter and a son), I'm a self-proclaimed backyard chicken guru and someone who has “foster failed” nearly all the animals currently running the household. Oh, and I maintain a husband in my spare time.