Saturday, April 18, 2009

Working Saturday

Today has been a working day. I'm trying very hard to get all my commitments out of the way today so I can finally have a whole day to myself tomorrow. I don't really have any specific plans, but the weatherman says rain for Sunday. That means it would be a perfect movie day, and I'm interested in a few listings on TCM tomorrow.

Even though I want to get everything done, I've been slowing down a lot lately. Things that I thought would never be a problem are suddenly creeping up into editing issues. I've said it once and I'll say it again: if it's not approached in the right way, I take editing critiques as personal insults. And I have so many different editors per day that it's really hard when I'm constantly getting feedback that has a person upset when I spelled one or two words wrong. I'm sorry, but if you only pay me a half a cent per word, you probably won't get more than five minutes of editing, otherwise the price isn't worth it. Although, unless it's a direct rewrite, the price still isn't worth it when you include research time.

It frustrates me particularly on one of my jobs. This job gives you a 1-5 ranking for each article you write. I have almost all articles ranking in at 3. Why? I couldn't tell you, exactly. Some were spelling mistakes but others I get no other feedback on. Even if the buyer rates it as excellent, I still only earn a 3 which means lower payments. I know I see it as a waste of time to put a lot of effort into these articles because I cannot earn more than $5 per article. But even when I put a lot of effort into it, I'm still ranked low. So why should I continue to waste time? That job in particular frustrates me because the buyer does not usually provide instructions that are detailed enough. I need a little structure in order to get it right, you know? But of course that doesn't prove true with some of my other work. When they put me into a structure, I follow it and it's still not good enough!

I'm thinking that my teachers and professors coddled me in school, because I don't think I can really make it as a writer. I thought I had something to work with, but all this feedback is telling me otherwise. I guess I can just concede and ignore it, since I still make money. But I don't want whatever skills I do have to slip away because I'm not being challenged. I'm battling with myself, but I have no other choice. I can't go back out into the world. I've spent too long away from it.

What do you think? Am I being stupid? Should I just work for half a cent per word and shut up because at least it's a job?

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