Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This is what I do.

This past Saturday I went* to my 5 year class reunion.

*Mostly because I got a free ride out there and the drinks were pretty cheap, but it was also nice to see some old friends.

Things went pretty smooth until the inevitable question began to be asked...

Also known as "So what are you doing now?"

That may not be exactly how I responded but the question did give my brain the feeling of charging into a sheer cliff face. Not because I didn't have an answer but rather because my answer was so long and garbled that it clogged my mind and had a hard time getting out of my mouth in an understandable manner.

As the night went on, and the question got asked more and more, I eventually decided on something simple to say which summed it up...

I found myself making it a point to explain that I was indeed not a prostitute and I was yet just a guy with a fair bit of free time.

Not everybody has time, and if they do most would rather spend it on something mildly enjoyable rather than something frustrating and tedious.

Some of those frustrating and tedious things though aren't really that bad to a guy like me. Some of them are even enjoyable.

They are things that might require a person to spend hours learning something almost completely unrelated to what they actually want or need to do.

A lot of it is pretty standard internet work like...

Those things are fairly easy for me (mostly because I spent a lot of time just learning it for my own use and projects), so doing it for others is no problem and it can pay pretty well.

Recently though I've also been...

You're probably thinking that that sounds like simple web searching (it kind of is) and who in their right mind would pay to have someone else do that.

Well I actually get a good amount of request.

Now remember, I just do the research*, I don't type out someone's paper.

*I also steer clear of places like Wikipedia. Specially if I'm doing research for a student. Professors check there often. ._.

I spend a good amount of time getting all the information together, going over it, breaking it up and marking it with a few notes.

This started with a friend who was swamped and had multiple papers due so she offered to pay me if I helped her with just the research. She then told others and so on and so forth.

Eventually I had people e-mailing asking for help with other things besides college work. Things that just involved hours spent searching the internet. Hours they didn't really have or want to spare.

I like to think I do a good job* and that my fees† are fair. Plus I enjoy scavenging the web and delving into its depths so it doesn't really feel too much like work.

*I haven't had anyone demand their money back yet. :)

I give and explain what the cost* of the request would be before I start and they can say either yay or nay.

*I judge it by how much time and work the request will most likely require.

Also on rare occasions I do...

It's not too often though because I tend to have trouble doing those kinds of projects for people other than myself. >_>;

Anyway, after all that, what I really do the most with my time is write. Mostly short stories of genre fiction but sometimes a random article or review of something. Then I submit them to several online and offline venues*.


The return is pretty good but it's not crazy go awesome high.

For genre fiction (horror, fantasy, sci-fi) you're looking at anywhere between 5¢-30¢ a word.

When I first started making a habit of writing and submitting manuscripts I was reading the Writer's Market a lot. It has a TON of great info but I also inadvertently stumbled upon the "Adult Writing" sections and what those venues offered...

...turns out they offered a LOT. o_o

I came to a crossroads with myself. Wondering whether or not I could even write that kind of stuff, not to mention if I would feel just too weird about it.

Late one night while sleep deprived I began writing something of that nature up. Afterwards I just sat at the computer, asking myself questions like...

Luckily though it was late at night and my brain was fried so the conclusion wasn't too hard to reach.

I stuck a pen name on it and submitted it to whoever might buy it. I realized that money's money, writing's writing, and it isn't like I was selling out to go and ONLY write that stuff.

Anyway, long story short, it sold pretty quickly and the pay was quite lovely so I lost any remaining inhibitions about it.

After that I figured I'd just write whatever I felt like (whether it's horror, fantasy, sci-fi, poems, articles, reviews, or "adult fiction") and send it off to whomever might buy it. It's a system that has worked pretty well. :)

Oh yeah...

And not just of the blogs or the internets but of everything. It's my goal*. ._.

*Goals are good. :)


  1. What do I do? Um, my professional life has taken a bit of a downturn lately. For recreation? Oh, the usual: bowl, drive around, the occasional acid flashback.

  2. Haha I love this. Your life seems to work out pretty nicely. It's inspiring! :)

  3. Whoah. You might have some free time on your hands, it looks like you do a lot o_o; Especially compared to me!
    What do I do? Go to schools (regular and culinary, do homework, keep a blog, and practice for Poetry out Loud. Not nearly as cool or as much as you do.

  4. I know how you feel. When people ask what I want to do when I graduate college it's sometimes hard to explain, even though I do have a plan. I never know whether they want to hear the short version or the long one. haha

  5. My response is usually, "Nothing. I just laze around the house all day". Sometimes it's true...

    An appropriate label for you could be "freelance writer". Something freelancey, anyway.