Jul. 17th, 2011

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It’s been longer than I intended between blog posts. But isn’t that usually the way of these things? There’s always something more important to do, right? So this morning (as it is morning when I right this, if 6am counts as morning), I’m taking advantage of car time to write. Nothing like being trapped in a car to encourage writing.

I’m trapped in the car at 6am on a Saturday because we’re going to New York for the day. Our destination is the Met, specifically to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit. I’ve always been a closet fashionista, and McQueen was one of the best there ever was. His tragic loss should not have been unexpected. Genius and madness and all that.

I owe a lot of updatey goodness, so I think I should start with explaining why I owe my blog so much attention. In the last two weeks, I’ve starting writing for two different websites. The first one you may already know about. I’m working freelance for Yahoo, through a service called Associated Content. It doesn’t pay very well (which is a gross understatement, as hard as that is to believe), but at this stage of my writing career, that’s not the main point. I’m writing every single day, usually on different topics, and generating clips. Clips are what it’s all about. Each one is a tiny little writing sample I can use to show what I can do. I’ve written mostly about sports and current events thus far. One of my pieces made the News Blog, and another is on the Sports page. I must be doing something right. I choose to believe I am doing something right. The reason that this market doesn’t pay well is that it is largely based on page views. The more people that read it, the more I make. So please do share my work around, if you think it’s interesting. Or even if you don’t.

The other market is more exciting. And not just because it pays better. The company is called Demand Studios. You may know them from such exciting websites as eHow.com. They use freelancers to generate all of their content. And unlike many similar sites, which are simply aggregators, they insist on original content. The content is based off of topics they gather from all over the Internet, which they throw into a massive database. The writers can pick from literally thousands of potential topics.

I’m in a probationary period with them at the moment, which means I’m only allowed to claim a limited number of topics. But I get extra attention from copy editors, so I can learn their expectations and practices. What I’m enjoying most is the opportunity to research topics that I otherwise would never do. My first assignment is on encephalitis in dogs. It’s been fun to research it, especially since they specifically disallow using sites like Wikipedia as sources. I just have to do well enough on my first three articles to pass probation, and then I’m good.

I’ve got a few other writing irons in the fire, but nothing I’m going to talk about just yet. The other thing that’s been taking up my attention is my job search. For the first time in my life, I’m looking for work with a completed college degree. Two of them, actually. What this means is that, for the first time ever, I’m not looking for a job, I’m looking for a career. And luckily, with my supportive family, I’m not in the position where I have to find and take just anything. In fact, there isn’t much economic sense in me taking a job that doesn’t make a decent percentage higher than what childcare would cost. Having me at home means Aimee is a lot more productive during her work day. So I am also looking at part time opportunities, should they be a good fit.

Thus far, I’ve answered about a dozen ads. Most of them are either in academia (like the admissions counselor job I applied for last week), or public history. I’ve had only one interview, for a part time position at a local museum, but it went really well. When I know more, I’ll let you all know as well.

It took me all day to write this, half on the way to New York, the other half on the way back, so I think it’s time for me to be done. Got more to say, but that will have to come in another post.

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