May 02 2016

Words are Expensive

succulent

Image: Erol Ahmed via Unsplash

I don’t always write for the money. Truth is this blog costs me for the hosting and for the spam prevention. I don’t make enough from ad revenue, my shops at CafePress and Zazzle, or even from my tip jar to consider this profitable.

You have the power to change that, I’m just saying.

I, on the other hand, have the power to decide for whom I work. Or do not.

Seriously, some of the ads I see on writing forums are hard to believe.

You offer $1 for 500 words and ask for “serious bids only?”

And then there are sites like Huffington Post that don’t pay their writers. That’s why I refuse to read them.

I’m not making that up.

Read here:

And HuffPo is apparently proud of this.

This is why serious writers struggle. I’ve written for other sites that pay for hits or that pay pennies on the dollar. But these days I’m a lot more selective about sites that I will write for, or groups that I’ll do free work for.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not about volunteering.

Volunteering is a worthwhile endeavor. Find a cause or organization in which you believe and volunteer to make things better. And, in some cases, I’ll use my writing and design skills to do that.

I’m all about making this world a better place by offering my time and talents.

But when you claim thousands of readers and thousands if not millions of dollars in advertising revenue and then you ask me to write for the “exposure.”

[middle school “expose this” comment redacted]

The problem is that there are writers who will write for free. That’s a shame. Sure, sometimes you need to get your start and build a portfolio.

Just be careful, and don’t give away your talents for free.

On a completely different side note, I’m binge watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Did you ever notice that anytime someone is told they have to leave the person in charge nods to the security guard and then the guard comes and gives the same knowing look to those being evicted? Watch for it. It’s the same universal nod whether it’s on earth or Deep Space Nine…just an observation.

Consider that a bonus. It was free.

And, this is also for free.

Today’s Grammar Lesson: Learning the Voices

Active voice: I love your blog

Passive voice: Your blog is loved

Passive-aggressive voice: I love how you have time to write a blog

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Apr 29 2016

Where do we go from here?

bridge-out

 

Sometimes the road is less traveled for a reason.

American comedian, actor, and producer, Jerry Seinfeld, was born on this day in 1954

It’s a classic example in movies and literature. Two choices of paths. Which one to choose?

In The Fellowship of the Ring Gandalf doesn’t want to go through Moria, but allows Frodo to choose. Once inside Gandalf guides the Fellowship through and chooses the path not because he remembers the way but because the air smells fresher. Funny thing is that there’s a Balrog at the end of that fresh air.

If that’s a spoiler after all these years, you need to get out more.

Then there’s the Bugs Bunny line that I’ve used more than once “I should have taken that left turn in Albuquerque.”

Sometimes we don’t choose a particular path because others have gone that route and it’s not been successful.

Sometimes we don’t choose a path because we’re afraid of the unknown.

We’d all like to get to a place in life where we’re free to choose our own path without being judged by others. Where we’re encouraged to try a new path, not warned by people who “know better.”

I’m too old to regret that paths I’ve taken in my life. Are there things I would have done differently? Absolutely.

But, rather than spend time remembering the old days and whining about how things didn’t go my way I need to be about the business of choosing the best path now.

That might, or might not, be the road less traveled.

All I know is, if I get off my backside and take better care of my health, I’ve got around 20-30 years left, assuming I’m not eaten by a Balrog…unlikely since I’d never choose the path through Moria.

I digress.

No matter what your goal or your destination, no matter how clear and precise your plan to get there, there will come a time when you’ll have to make choices, or decisions that you weren’t expecting to make.

While the wrong, or different, choice may not impact your actual reaching of the goal, the timing, or perspective may shift.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

Ask any person who reached their life goal. None of them will tell you it was easy. None of them will tell you they didn’t have to make choices. Or that they didn’t take the occasional detour.

Sometimes the road less traveled is because the bridge is out ahead.

Our decision is whether to have a Thelma and Louise moment or find a different path.



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