"Stay true to your identity and never waiver" - Gary Vaynerchuk
Why am I quoting an entrepreneur and businessman in a post on a blog about writing? Not because he's also actually a best-selling author.
Because I quit my job.
I can't pinpoint exactly when I got sick of it. At first, it seemed like a dream come true: getting paid $16/hour to write five articles a week, with complete flexibility with my schedule and where I worked. It was good, like having a hot tub in your backyard. I could just sit and relax, no matter how chilly it got at night. I hadn't really looked at the manual closely, and I had no idea how the thing worked but hey, it made bubbles. Who doesn't like bubbles? Little known fact, you have to clean hot tubs. Like, a lot. And much like a dirty hot tub, things of dubious origin started floating to the surface with this job.
The accumulation really got noticeable around the 10th article I had to write about cleaning a surface with different household products. I started noticing that articles needed revisions every single time I submitted them, and sometimes needed more than one round. The requested edits sometimes conflicted between editors, and it got real tricky keeping track of who wanted what. I was told I needed additional training, that the problem was on my end. Here's the thing. I had two hours to write each article. Well more exactly, one hour, since the other was meant for research. Oh, and I had no guidance on what to write beyond a title before I started. Now I've written a whole slew of papers by the seat of my pants during university, but none of them were done in two hours. I was used to tight deadlines, I thrive under them, but it was starting to get ridiculous. I realized I wasn't happy with what I was doing. I was spending more time looking for other jobs than I was getting work done. I actually started to dread having to write for this company, and it made any writing I did elsewhere suffer. It was like a gangrenous limb. I had to cut it off.
That was my only revenue source, and most writing gigs a writer at my level can get are for similar sites. It might come across as a bit entitled, but it's not work I want to be doing.
So instead, I looked for places that wanted to buy fiction. I happened upon lists of publications that wanted short stories pretty much by accident (after googling "making money as a freelance writer" for the 50th time). I found Worlds Without Master, a small sword and sorcery publication looking for fantasy short stories. I wrote a 2500 word story the same day and submitted it (I was determined to make money writing fiction after all). I haven't heard back. Also I discovered they publish very infrequently.
No big deal, I'm just going to have to keep writing stories and submitting them to more publications.
I found a horror anthology publication, and their deadline is at the end of September.
Maybe I'll write a story about a vampire vigilante...