I’ve Been Terribly Busy (And I Love It)

I subscribe to a number of e-mail lists, podcasts, and various other forms of digital communication that revolve around writing. Some of these have to do with the craft of writing. Others have to do with speculative fiction or specifically horror writing. Since starting to work from home I have supplemented these with a quite a few that deal with how to attract clients, which websites work, and how to build up a portfolio.

Two weeks ago one of these e-mail lists did a review on the website
Fiverr. I had never heard of it, but it seemed like an interesting way to make money. The premise behind the site is simple: People create an account and list what they will be willing to do for five dollars1. People who are looking for someone to do a specific job go on the site and order “gigs” from the people willing to work.

For example, one of my gigs is to line edit 1,500 words for $5.
2 If you have a brief article you need edited, you buy a gig, send it to me, and I send it back in a few days.

Now this doesn’t sound like much, but the key is in what you are willing to do for the $5 compared to what needs to be done. For example, let’s say you have an e-book you need edited, but it’s 25,000 words. When you break that down into 1,500 increments, you see how the money adds up quickly.

Since going on the site I have had a number of gigs. In fact, I’ve been averaging a new task every day.
4 Most of them are around an hour’s worth of work, which is what I was aiming for. There were some straight up editing jobs, there was a press release for a company in Singapore, there were a couple that I did for Guidlet which were really kind of fun. I made lists of my favorite places and described why people should visit them. I did one for quirky, off the beaten path type places in Detroit and one of my favorite places to eat and drink in Ferndale. I will be doing one more listing my favorite area bookstores in a few days. I’ve even been contacted by a fellow writer to do a series for his website, but I won’t say any more than that because I don’t want to queer the deal.

The longest request I have had so far was to write 7,000 words for a client. No big deal, right? I average around 1,200 words a day, six days a week. This should be a piece of cake. The only difference was the genre.

I would be writing erotica.

Let’s let that sink in for a moment.

The guy who spends his time writing about people carving up other people, the supernatural, and the rotting undead was going to write a love story.

Well, not really a
love story. More a of lust story really. Could I do it?

Baby, I did it.

I submitted it about a half an hour ago, so I have yet to hear back from the client, but I was pleased with the way it turned out. Was it a different experience from my usual writing? Hell yes it was. Then again, I am used to writing in different styles. This blog is a pretty good example. Things here are kind of laid back and informal. I swear. I write nonsense. I throw in footnotes, then I link other footnotes to those footnotes. This is a far cry from what I do when I am writing fiction. Even the funny stuff is usually a little darker in tone than the rants you read here.

Let’s not forget that I have a dearth of experience writing in a more scholarly tone too. I’ve always been pretty proud of my ability to turn on that “serious, scholar” voice when needed, then shut it down just as fast.

I will be honest, there were some things that were weird. I tend to block out action scenes when I am writing.
6 My neighbors are used to me swinging rakes in the back yard to see how a fight scene might go. The dogs have helped me enact scenes where people are being stalked down long hallways or chase downstairs.

Blocking out the action in a piece of erotica? That was different.

All in all, I’ve rather enjoyed the experience
8. I kind of hope the client likes what I wrote and asks for me again.

Just not right away. I need to cool off a bit first.

Postscript: I received glowing feedback from the client who ordered this assignment which included the phrase “hit it out of the park.”

1. No, it’s not that kind of site, perv.

2. Actually I have two different gigs like this, one for fiction, one for non-fiction.
I’m also set up to ghostwrite, edit for content, and write web content. My account is

3. No, I’m not going to do the math for you.

4. Hopefully I didn’t just jinx that.

5. Although it does tend to slip out when I’ve been drinking. Anyone who has had to listen to the full hour and fifteen minute rant against lawn knows this.

6. By which I mean blocking from the directorial/stage/acting viewpoint, not the “erase it from my memory” viewpoint.

7. Although I may do the latter if the client does not care for my submission.

8. The experience of writing, not the blocking out part.