Wednesday, 4 January 2012

oDesk - could this be the start of a bit of cash coming my way, or is it a waste of time?

oDesk.  I've started using this huge virtual office type of network.  People advertise jobs that contractors can do online, or just on their computer; contractors bid for the jobs, and someone gets hired.  Pay ranges from virtually nothing, to quite a decent hourly rate, depending on experience and skills.  I'm a beginner, so the first job I've been hired for pays pretty much nothing.  I'm writing articles - 150-170 words is all - on a topic that this woman sends me.  I'm a BMR writer this week!  I write articles for her, and her ratings are boosted!  Whatever that means.  I don't really want to be doing it, but I discovered that it's actually quite good writing practice - she tells me to write, say ten articles on the same topic, and I have to come up with new ways of writing about the same thing over and over again.  It's sort of boring, but it's sort of interesting at the same time.  The way I seem to be doing this is by hearing different voices, different characters talking about the topic from their point of view; so I'm a lady of 60, new to the internet, finding out that it's not as scary as it seems; I'm a man of 24 who thought he'd decided to do one thing with his life, but has found that he's taken a completely different path; and so on.  It's very bizarre, because I'm essentially writing about absolutely nothing, and yet I have to include very specific keywords.  The keywords have to be in the right sort of place in the text, and the subject of the article has to be loosely related to the keyword.  I don't really understand what it's all about at all, but I can make a miniscule amount of money from it, so it's worth a go.  I suppose I will continue to work with this lady until I find another job on oDesk that pays properly, and that is more interesting.  That could be tomorrow, or it could be next week, I don't really know.  Actually, I don't think I'm allowed to just tell this lady that I've found another job and abandon her - I think I have to do a certain amount of work for her (I think she mentioned a hundred of these little pieces) before I can move on.  That's absolutely fine - it's boring, but at least it's getting my brain to work.  It's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be when I looked at the topics and had an initial panic!  Always pay to have a go, you see.

I could see how this sort of work could become completely soul destroying if a person did it for too long though.  I wouldn't want to do this for the rest of the year - I'd go mad.   Although, having said that, I suppose if you intersperse it with your own writing it might be more bearable.

So what I did was, I spent an hour on my Faerie book this morning.  I moved the plot along just a nudge and introduced another character, and felt quite good about myself.  Actually, I just generally feel quite good about myself today, because I have successfully ignored the stinking cold I've got :)  It has not prevented me from doing anything - although I think I'm a bit feverish this evening, and might be struck down tomorrow!  But it's just a cold - I know people who have worse things than a cold today :(

So, all in all, a good start to the year.  I may have seriously messed up my chance of getting a lovely little proofreading job, because I'm an idiot and should not have done the test piece when I was tired.  But at least I'm being productive, and at least I haven't curled up in a corner and cried and said something like 'oh nooooooo, I'm so stupid, how could I be so stupid?' and 'I'll never be a proofreader now!'  Because I still will be a proofreader; I just won't have my first job with the very nice and patient Liam Bennett.

Well, and that's all for now.  I'm going to get Lord of the Rings, and I'm going to start reading it, because I need to find out how to write battles - I'll be coming up to a small skirmish in my book soon, and I need some ideas on how to put down the right words for that.

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, as you can see.
Another book with really good battles in it - battles with dragons: stupendous!

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