Update, downdate, everywaydate

For a time, this blag seemed to be on the upswing. I was posting pretty regularly, and even occasionally avoiding hedging my phrases with unnecessary adverbs. But lately? A steady march of adverbs and a general lack of my posts.

Well, let us get right down to it. I’ve been busy.

I mean, in theory, I’m busy, you’re busy, everyone’s busy all the time, but it has been an especially busy time for me. For the first time in a while, I’ve got a paying gig. And by that I mean some work that actually puts dollars directly in the bank account. That’s good, because we have some unexpected expenses just over the horizon. (Does it sound silly to say that unexpected expenses are not here yet? Doesn’t that mean that they are expected now, and that I can no longer claim this particular brand of victimhood? Well, I didn’t anticipate that they would show up, so I’m just going to stick to it.) 

The van is acting up, for one thing. Driving in it is like taking a rickety minecart down into a dark tunnel, and you’re not sure if someone remembered to pull the lever that switches the tracks to the one that gets where you want to go instead of leading to a track that ends by ramping out into the infinite abyss. We put a gallon of water in, and five miles later it’s all gone. Needless to say, we only drive it where we absolutely must go. I will say that’s clearing up by way of a very generous car deal from my family, which I quite appreciate. Still, need the dough to pay for the reasonable deal.

Also, Heidi and I have been sitting on some dental work that we both need done. Turns out that neglecting annual cleanings has not turned out so great. Neither of us is in critical danger of losing teeth, but I don’t want to get to that point, either. Even with the quasi-dental-plan-thing offered by Heidi’s work (at a low low cost of something a month that I don’t care to recall right now) it’s about a grand minimum to get us both processed. So that’s going to be a savings project. Everyone would hate for me to lose my winning smile, especially me and my parents who put a fair amount of pain and suffering (me) and cash (my parents) into fixing the wonky tooth arrangement God saw fit to stick in my mouth. Maybe I was not so appreciative then, and for that I am sorry, but I’m older, and now I want to keep the results.

There are also a variety of minor things that do not bear mentioning specifically but are all little nagging debts or savings projects that need to be addressed. (When I say little nagging debts, this entirely excludes student loan debt, because yikes.) Oh, and Heidi and I would like to not live exactly where we are forever, and it is likely that we will have to move when Heidi gets a Big Accounting Job somewhere, so saving up for moving expenses would not hurt either.

So that brings me to the work. It’s writing. Yes. I am being paid to write. Sort of.

Shall we go ahead and have a celebration before we move on? I think it is appropriate.

Okay, glad we got that out of the way.

The job is a freelance writing gig in which various companies seeking small amounts of copy on a broad range of subjects offer bite sized writing projects. Sometimes you write a short description of a product for a website that has basically no product description for a few hundred new items. Sometimes it is a step by step guide to doing anything that someone might want to do. I feel like I am explaining this badly, but essentially the company, Crowdsource, acts as intermediary for small writing jobs, between the writer and the client who wants something written.

Overall, I have had a good experience with them. There have been a few quirky decisions about some articles I’ve written, but the client is the boss and can decide what to do with the copy given them. I’m actually having a bit of fun, for I do not know offhand the answer to just about any of the questions I’m fielding, and this presents opportunities for learning. I’ve written about parenting. I’ve written about IRAs. I’ve written about gaming. So many articles aboutPokémon… so many articles…

To clarify that last bit, a lot of people have questions about how to do nitpicky specific and hard to achieve things in the various Pokémon handheld games, and I have written at least a half dozen detailed step by step guides for them. It’s actually enjoyable to go and figure this stuff out… usually. The real problem I’ve run into when it comes to Pokémon games and others is when they want you to write 200 words about how to do something that is, in fact, impossible. I try to steer clear of articles like that…

Anyway, Crowdsource’s clients tend to offer rates along the lines of 2.5 cents to 3 cents a word, which may not sound like much, but it adds up. In fiction, that is considered a semi-pro pay rate, I think, so I’ll take what I can get right now. I cannot say if this will ever make a difference on a résumé, but it’s making a small dent in our monthly expenses. That’s something.

The downside is that it’s also making a dent in my writing schedule, but I endeavor to not let it make a large impact. Some of my projects… well, if I want to be honest, all of my projects are at a bit of a stall right now. Adding this extra writing work to my table is a touch dangerous, but I like to think I can survive it.

NaNoWriMo is coming up. I’m starting to think I should pass on active participation, and just focus on maintaining my normal goals.

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