I skipped posting last week mostly because of that old saying: "If you don't have anything nice to say..." Well, you know the rest. I really didn't have anything nice to say about anyone or anything. I probably still don't, but I don't fee like putting a cork in it anymore.
The first thing that made me back up and give the blog some space was the flow of project messages into my inbox. If you have ever worked with Guru, Elance or similar sites, you know that this doesn't mean you have been awarded a project. Most of the time, the potential client uses it to ask you for additional information as sort of an interview process before they decide who they will award the project to. So, it's something you can get a little excited about, but not too much.
That's all changed for me. No longer will I jump out of my seat for any emails labeled this way. Why? Because every job I applied for last week decided that they would rub it in when I didn't get the job by sending out a project note to each loser who didn't get the job. Now, many people may consider this a courtesy and a nice thing to do, but I think the false hope aspect of it definitely trumps the courteous form letter starting with "There were so many great candidates to choose from, and unfortunately you weren't it." Then, especially if it is a book project, they go into blatantly promoting their project. Enough of that.
So, I've be scouring the far corners of the Internet for new leads on jobs. Last Friday, I was lucky to find four new leads. On Saturday, I came down from that temporary euphoria. Two of the leads were oDesk and People Per Hour -- websites essentially like Elance and Guru -- lots of work, but lots of competition as well. Don't get me wrong, they are all solid sites. I would have no hesitation using them to hire someone, but it's really hard to get hired, whether you have great feedback from previous clients or not.
The two other leads were a bit out of the traditional writing zone. One was a job posting on message boards. This job seemed great at the time I signed up. I qualified for permission to start posting quickly, but then I found out that it pays on average $0.10 per post. That wouldn't be problem, except posts on each board are limited to 5 or 6 a day. There are many boards to choose from, but most are too techie for my tastes and I wouldn't be able to provide the quality posts they expect. Out of the boards I'm currently posting on, one board isn't even counting the posts I write, so I'm having to get to the bottom of that as well.
The last lead seems fun, but again is very low paying. It is a job rating music at Slice the Pie. I already do that at HitPredictor and get paid in points/gift cards that only add up to about $10 a month. This new site lets me rate music for anywhere between $0.07.-$0.10 per song (with a minimum of 90 seconds of listening time). I think the rate is based on how many words are included in your review, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I've also noticed that rating the song poorly doesn't get you anywhere either, though they do ask for honest reviews so... anyway. It's still a job that's going into the "can't you smell the desperation?" pile.
All of these disappointments have led to one good thing. The more frustrated I get with this failed entrepreneur/nearly unemployed situation, the more exercise I am able to complete. I just finished a great bike ride this morning, and I'm sure I'll get one in every day this week. It doesn't hurt that the weather is so mild either.
And while I'm rambling on, I'll continue with my sad update about Camp Nanowrimo -- it's not going to happen. The 25,000 word goal... I'm not even halfway there. And believe me, there's not enough caffeine on this planet to finish by Thursday. However, through the month-long process I did find out more about my story -- mostly that it will take way more than 25,000 words to finish. My kooky little characters -- they decided to sneak up on me with a few plot twists I didn't even expect.
Today is the day for change, so I'll still look for more leads, but the freelancing world seems to be pushing me out my front door inch by inch.
**For anyone who actually made it to the end of the post, thanks for listening. I need to vent to people who know what it's like being in this business -- friends and family just stare at me like I'm an idiot when I try to explain how freelancing really works.