Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Freelance Woes

I'm looking for freelance writing jobs, scouring the Internets, visiting job boards, and generally bemoaning the economic conditions that have put me into a state of virtual unemployment as an independent writer for nearly eight months. Where is my stimulus package?

I've even submitted a love poem to a greeting card company. Now that's desperate, because I am the least sentimental person you will ever meet. Wanna know how bad it gets? Here's the first line:

Our souls touched long before our eyes met.


But hey, I've read the drivel on greeting cards in the drug store, and someone's making money on it. It might as well be me. I can write sappy love messages with the best of them.

Another way I could make some money--if I didn't have a conscience--is by writing college essays, book reports, and term papers. I would like to hear from you--anonymously, of course--if you ever paid someone to write a paper for you in college. Did you have any qualms about it? Did you get a good grade? Does it bother your conscience today? Would you want your own child to pay for a term paper? How do you justify it--or don't you bother?

Ironically, the companies looking for writers of term papers have strict guidelines about plagiarism -- and some offer their clients free plagiarism reports along with their research paper. It's a whole industry based upon cheating! Incredible.

One company is looking for a gullible fool to write articles for $3 per article--plus a bonus dollar for real good quality. Another one offered two cents per word. A 300 - 400 word original article, including research, would take a minimum of 2-3 hours. That means these writers will earn anywhere from $1 - $3 per hour. Who is willing to work for these kinds of slave wages? Are they freaking serious?

And yet, these jobs have dozens of bidders. One writer, a former newspaper reporter, is willing to write 30 five-hundred-word articles for $30. I...I...I'm speechless. I made more money 30 years ago when I was cleaning houses during the summer.

And finally, a former client just offered to "hire" me to work on a grant proposal with him--but he can't pay me unless he actually gets the grant. Seriously. Not only does fundraising on a contingency or commission basis violate the ethics of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, but he is essentially asking me to be willing to work for FREE, with only the possibility of a paycheck sometime in the future.

If I'm going to work for free, I'm going to blog--and someday, my blog and I will RULE THE WORLD.

So there.


Anonymous said...

Mrs. Peevie, you just need to write a book! Might take a few years to get published, but YOU WILL RULE THE WORLD! I got paid a few times to write papers for friends in college. I didn't ask for much. Usually goods for my empty apartment, pots, lamps, utensils, etc. No qualms but now that I think about it, wouldn't want my kid to pay someone else to do her work.

E. Peevie said...

Elbee--you are what keeps me going. You are my only non-personal-friend follower (not that I despise my friend-followers!), and I will give you a high post in my benevolent dictatorship when I RULE THE WORLD.

I think you rule, also, for your straight answer about ghostwriting papers in college.

Thank you for your encouragement.

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