In August I started freaking out about money and looking at job boards and I realized I have no skills that qualify me for anything that pays enough to live. Then I remembered an account I signed up on a freelancing board forever ago, signed in, looked at their FAQ, then started searching for projects.
I applied for everything I could find that I was qualified for (writing and editing, basically) that sounded interesting, with a slight consideration for getting paid an amount that would be worth my time. After 25 applications, I got an assignment writing a 10,000 word m/m werewolf romance story. Since I knew next to nothing about writing this genre,* I did some research—enough research to kill all the best ideas I had (they died in
utero the outline phase because they were too trite and obvious to live). Shortly after realizing how out of my depth I was, I withdrew from the project. Coolies…
There were 2 main things I learned from all the time I spent haunting** this freelancing board:
1) Typical payment for ghostwriting there is fucking abysmal. The most common offer I saw was $10/1,000 words. $0.01 per word. The Writers Market (by way of Google) lists freelancing rates as ranging from $0.50-$3/word, with an average of $1.65/word.
2) Most of the projects posted there seem to be listed by people who have lost (or never had) the concept of what qualifies as “a novel.” Really, really common to see requests for someone to write a “20,000 word novel”—I don’t know if this is a correct use of the term ironic, but there’s something weird about seeing this so often after all the times random strangers would criticize me for participating in NaNoWriMo because “50,000 words isn’t really long enough to be a novel, is it? I mean, that’s really short!”
2b) Most of these projects were for ebooks. Published quick and dirty on Amazon… and these things are selling. (So now I kind of have a new idea for a side hustle? Maybe?)
I am still slinging applications on the freelancing board and trying to find something else that’s closer to what I can do. Failing that, I’m going to have to go get a real job.***
*And most of what I did know had to do with the “werewolf” part.
**BECAUSE I WAS GHOSTWRITING GET IT? *makes eelface* :D
***Anyone who’s wondering how I’ve been paying my living expenses: mostly savings, some of it is on credit cards, school is paid for with student loans;**** I grew up poor and I’m very aware of how to not spend money I don’t have on stupid shit I can’t afford to impress people I don’t like.
****Student loans fucking terrify me even more than my credit cards.