I had a golden opportunity arise today. Unlike you though when I say “golden opportunity” I do not mean something positive. I mean it more reflects someone peeing in your face.
On July 17, 2013 I signed up on Yahoo Voices to begin publishing online for money! Real money. Real money I have had transferred into my bank account. Money I can use to buy things. Money I could spend to have someone killed! Certainly I felt very powerful with this…umm…power?
Today all of the contributors were informed that the site would be shutting down at the end of July and no new contact would be published. Considering this is the first, and still only, time I have made money writing I am a little upset. It was an easy side gig that easily supplemented my grocery bills. While I didn’t earn a living off of it, in the time I was there I earned almost $1700, $1500 of it this year alone. Writing about sports, television, movies, and fat kids was so easy. It was pleasurable to know I could dedicate my entire evening to writing something that would be published then rewarded with money. In fact, ever since I began writing for Yahoo Voices it kind of became the most time consuming thing I would do. I put screenwriting aside because I can’t think of anything less rewarding than spending months to put together a story only for it to lead to nothing. Okay, maybe being the parent of an ugly baby is worse.
There are lots of other websites out there seeking writers. The problem is Yahoo Voices was easy. You could write on whatever topic you wanted. You only had to reach 400 words. The guidelines were so carefree. Anyone could have made a pretty penny on it. Other sites require more attention to boundaries and regulations. They want you to follow a strict format and avoid using the n-word. Well, Yahoo Voices probably wouldn’t allow it either. They barely edited though and I doubt they ever would have noticed, but it would have been a risky maneuver anyway.
The first heartbreak with Yahoo came after I was accepted as a beat reporter for the Philadelphia Phillies back in January. By beat reporter I mean I wrote about the team and I had no credentials to do it other than I submitted an article they liked. In about a month doing that I managed to get about $300 and baseball season hadn’t even started. I even was awarded something about an article of the week where they basically said I sucked but my sucking was entertaining.
Where does this leave me? I could write here, though, at this point I don’t feel the same about standard blogging. This Mooselicker blog is more for random thoughts which are not edited very much because there’s no reason to. That’s the most valuable thing I think I earned, even above money, from writing on Yahoo Voices. I think I truly did become a better, albeit sometimes more boring, writer. I flush out the information quicker and more precise. I am more aware of words I use as crutches too. I got a lot of practice there and I think the real unfortunate thing is I don’t know where to go next.
I remain active on my sports blog Phalse Philly Sports which I enjoy and there is always fresh content. The problem with that is it could never go far as it’s nothing more than The Onion for Philadelphia Sports. Pictures are taken all willy-nilly from Google without properly crediting the source and so on. I’d almost rather that never get too big as the more attention I get the less I could get away with. Until an actual offer is made where I know people are depending on me to write for it there’s no reason to put in the added effort of trying to “make it big.”
Right now it looks like I’ll….well damn I’m not even quite sure. The weather is so hot it’s hard to imagine doing anything other than following the routine. I do get plenty of chances to write at work which is nice. Still, the compensation is not the same as being able to publish a couple hundred articles and track how they are doing on a daily basis.
Maybe this is why so many writers end up attempting to murder their families while watching hotels in the Colorado Mountains during a snowstorm. It’s a frustrating gig that nobody really gives a damn about.
Now to spend my night depress-eating followed up by regret-trying-to-pooping.
P.S. Why does WordPress decide to change everything without warning every time I post something?