Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Aug 29 2005

The Mysteries Of An Underpaid, Overworked Freelance Writer

I was hoping for something more upbeat than I found in "My Life As A Hack" from Ben Yagoda. But I guess I knew it had to be that way. The article does contain a lot of truth. When you tell people you're a writer they ask you what you write. When you tell people you're a freelance writer their eyes glaze over and they don't even know what to ask. They usually mumble, "Oh, so you don't get paid to work for anybody?" (which is closer to the truth than they realize sometimes). Then they choose new words and try to ask you how you survive freelancing if no one hands you a regular paycheck? Then they get a look that tells you they realize they may have just insulted you, but they don't have enough real information about what you do in order to back themselves out of the major foot-in-mouth moment position they've created for themselves.

It doesn't help matters that a lot of us don't talk in detail about current writing works-in-progress. It's just a bad idea to do so, for a lot of reasons. But these "what is it you do, anyway" kind of encounters can actually be kind of amusing if you can keep from feeling any personal affront from the questions people ask.

Over the years I've learned to develop a whole set of expressions and descriptions that usually lets questioners gently off the hook. But sometimes it would feel good to tell them that I really can't discuss my work because it might put someone's life in jeopardy. Would that be true? Let's just say that's for me to know and you to find out.

posted at: 11:34 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Ad Gathering

Have you looked at Oodle yet? We small-town folks are still left out of the loop, but they are covering more than 24 major metro areas now. You can read more about the philosophy and mindset behind their work on the Oodle Blog. They find ads for sales and services and then present the bunch with each individual listing containing a bit of detail and a link to the original ad. Think somewhat of an aggregator, but one that does ads instead of news stories. You can also browse in specific sections or areas of interest, such as Los Angeles area job fairs. It looks as though some sections of Oodle also hook into Google maps for even better pinpointing of goods and services. You can even sign up to get email alerts that target your areas of interest.

posted at: 10:19 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!