The big controversey in the headlines at the time I’m writing this is Jesse Jackson’s gaffe on the Bill O’Reilly show. Jackson made some untoward comments about Barack Obama when he thought the microphone was turned off.
Jesse Jackson clearly never attended broadcasting school. If he had, he would know that a microphone is NEVER off, especially on network television. When the operator pushes the “off” button, it should be treated like a deadly snake some rancher has just killed. Did you know a poisonous snake with its head cut off can still strike and kill you? Jesse Jackson knows that now, all too well.
What can freelance writers learn from this?
For starters, there is the growing awareness of what happens when a potential employer, editor or publisher wants to Google you before they start paying you for services rendered. In the mid to late 90s, I knew of several people in the freelance IT industry who ran webcam blogs. Many of these people weren’t very concerned over the amount of clothing they wore on their webcams. I don’t think they thought very much about the notion that those pictures could still be floating around today, ten years later. Continue reading What Freelance Writers Can Learn From Jesse Jackson’s “Mistake”
Angela Hoy is responsible for WritersWeekly.com, a site I visit quite often. As part of her services to writers, she offers a collection of articles on the freelance game available for bloggers to reprint on their own websites, gratis. I love the idea, but even though I prefer to write my own content, I can’t resist linking to Hoy’s great article on pay-by-click content sites.
Folks, this article is FIVE YEARS OLD. The scary thing is, it’s all still just as relevant today as it was the day it hit her website. This business model should have died the death ages ago, but the sad fact of the matter is–it’s OUR FAULT these sites still exist. And when I say that, I am talking about the writing community. None of these sites would be running today if there weren’t writers willing to work under such conditions. We’ve all done it in the early days of our career, and some of us still use such sites to our advantage in sneaky, underhanded ways never intended by the creators.
In fact, that’s the only thing that keeps some of them going, near as I can tell. Read Angela Hoy’s Article on How To Be A Starving Writer and marvel along with me that half a decade later, she’s still hitting the nail directly on the head. Angela, you rock, and shame on the rest of us for helping to keep this drivel alive and well. I know most noobs don’t know any better, but that’s not really the issue for me…read the article to get my drift.
Darren Rowse is one of my favorite bloggers, as he writes about blogging itself. As someone who keeps his finger on the pulse of the blogging scene, he’s what I consider a trusted source. He’s also in the enviable position of being a writer’s writer. For those of us who are a bit further in the trenches in the word game, his perspective is quite interesting. I myself have to play catch-up with blogging trends in between gigs and try to keep up with the changing face of the industry. Rowse makes it his day to day business. Nice one, mate.
A recent entry by Rowse draws a comparison between bloggers and chess pieces. Rowse reposted a great piece by Nadeesha Cabral who says bloggers are pawns, with the playing field clogged with a great number of useless pieces at first. As the pawns drop out of the game, the remaining pieces become more valuable. The ones that make it to the end of the chess board naturally become incredibly valuable and can navigate the game in more powerful roles.
One thing Cabral doesn’t mention is the flip side of the comparison to bloggers as pawns; Continue reading Darren Rowse Says Bloggers are Pawns
I debated on whether to name this piece “Not Getting Paid, Part XIVXXIV”, or “Clown Company Part Deux” or some other clever, pithy title. In the end it boils down to the same thing; writer beware. Some regular readers of this blog have already noticed that of the two contributors here (Catherine L. Tully and yours truly,) I am the one who tends to post in a more reactionary style. Which is to say that when I am going through something particularly vexing as a writer, I tend to rant about it here. I try to stay professional about it, not naming names or giving traceable details.
Some might criticize me for doing this, saying that by not naming names I leave the door open for other writers to find the people I grouse about and become entangled in their shoddy business practices. To these readers I simply offer this; I haven’t got the money for a legal team.
That’s why I write about my experiences in the way I do–if you can spot the telltale signs of a clown company, a bad editor, a shoddy publishing house, you don’t NEED me to name names. You’ll be onto the game quickly enough and can steer clear of these buffoons for future reference. And warn all your friends.
And with that over-long intro, let’s get to my current gripes–er, advice.
Continue reading Even More Warning Signs For Writers