Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Site For Sore Eyes


I got to speak to the Ventura County Writers Club Tuesday night and the members were beyond gracious. That is, they laughed a lot, and I’m assuming it wasn’t all at me, but at what I said. Some of them even chuckled at my tacky pilcrow tattoo joke: “Why is that ‘p’ on your leg?”


Yes. Your suspicions are confirmed. I am a 12-year-old boy inside a… not-12-year-old woman’s body.

I know I've told the pilcrow joke in a previous post. Proving again that I am 12. I really should be outside right now, poking bugs with sticks.

I did manage to get some real information into my talk, which mostly consisted of how sucky* it is to be a professional freelance writer.

*I use the word “sucky” a lot. It must be Word-approved, since it doesn’t have a red, squiggly line under it. Funny, though, “pilcrow” does.



Anyway, in my speech to these published and unpublished writers, I suggested a number of websites to go to in order to check out the job market. While most people join local writers’ groups because they write fiction or memoirs or fictionalized memoirs, my area of expertise is nonfiction, so I thought I’d share some resources.

Here are the ones I use.

Ebyline
Elance
iFreelance
Mediabistro
National Association of Professional Women
LinkedIn

And now for the disclaimer.

Not all of these sites will work for you. Why? Because you’re gonna have to work the hell out of them.

I'm on Ebyline regularly because my newspaper uses it to send me assignments. Ebyline also emails notifications of projects posted by other publications and businesses, and I’ve responded to a few, but so far no bites.

Elance, iFreelance and Mediabistro post writing jobs. I pay a small monthly fee to use iFreelance in order to get placed a little higher on the list of freelancers, and to receive priority email alerts when freelance writing jobs appear. I’m thinking of canceling soon, since I haven’t been awarded any projects.

Why? Because that advertorial Wendy will write for you for $75, some grad student will write for $20. She may not do as good a job as Wendy, but, hey, you’re saving $55.

That’s why.

As for the National Association of Professional Women, I’m still not sure. Belonging to a networking group requires a lot of, well, networking, and even though I am social when I am in social situations, I am not a good salesperson in person. I love the cover of social media. No makeup or heels required. Sales pitches can be edited, and I don't have to go to evening meetings, when I'd rather be in bed, eating snacks, watching terrible TV and scouring eBay auctions for vintage purses on my laptop. My NAPW membership is for the year, so we’ll see if I make any business contacts.

LinkedIn is OK. I recently got a small job through it. I think people mostly use it to see what college/headshot/exaggerations their old high school classmates/former coworkers/people they only know peripherally are putting on their LinkedIn profiles.

Wendy's default profile pic. Taken a wrinkle-free fifteen years ago.

Then there are the LinkedIn connection requests from people I haven't met, either in person or online. I always wonder why someone I don't know, with whom I have no contacts in common, and who are in an entirely different business than I would want to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Dude, if I were able to help you enhance your career, don’t you think I would’ve done it with mine by now?

Help Wendy enhance her career. Visit her websites: Wendy Dager, www.wendydager.com, Advertorial75, www.advertorial75.com, The Write Cave, www.writecave.com, The Vintage Purse Gallery, www.vintagepursegallery.com, Vintage Purse a Day, www.vintagepurse.blogspot.com and A Discouraging Word, www.discouragingwordbook.com. She’s also on Facebook and Twitter. Why? She has no idea.


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