Which as you may deduce, a parody of “sic transit gloria mundi”—the glories of Earth pass away. Which is a high-falutin’ way to bring up that Demand Media, the people I do most of my paying work for, has stopped employing writers for their eHow site, the only one of their clients I’m still writing for. So barring any projects that come up down the road (I’ve been told I’m still on the list of dependable freelancers) I’m no longer doing Demand work.
“Content farms” such as Demand—sites which hire freelancers to turn out articles for various websites that need content—have a horrible rep on other writing sites, almost as if they were sweatshop labor. Personally I’ve been very satisfied with my time there. From 2011 through 2013, I made more as a freelancer than I did as a full-time reporter (last year I had to deal with Demand having a long work stoppage, then the demands of stay-at-home puppy parenting). And the pay per hour was good—better than a lot of online jobs that I’ve done.
So I’m disappointed to have a steady income stream dry up, and contemplating my next step with a little trepidation—which seems like the cue for a symbolizing-my-thoughts comics cover (by Gil Kane, all rights to current holder). Still, I’m actually feeling better about this than back when (as noted above) they temporarily stopped using writers. I’m not sure why. Maybe because they’d announced this back in June, then apparently changed their mind, so I got my initial nerves out of the way. Maybe I’m just ready to try something new. Back in June I started thinking of things I’d like to try but between the time-travel film book and Demand, there’s not been much time to try anything. So we’ll see. Thanks to the final surge of articles since June, I should be able to pay my share of the bills through the end of October—that’s probably helping me stay calm too.
I will take some time this weekend to figure out how I’m going to schedule my time when I’m not doing Demand first thing in the morning, and just how I hope to make money. The ideal would be someone offering me the same kind of multi-million dollar contract as John Scalzi—anyone up for that?
Wow. Could have heard a pin drop. So possibly full-time fiction isn’t the cards just yet.
As for the rest of my week, I worked on Southern Discomfort and read The Stage is a World (which now desperately needs a new title) to the writing group. To my surprise—I’d thought it was still very rough—they really liked it (turns out a lot of them have some theater experience too). Several had problems with the ending, but they also made me see how to fix it—it’s just that I dropped some elements when I switched to a first-person story, and now I need to restore them.
Oh, and I just sold Signs and Hortense, which came out some six years ago in Arkham Tales to Eldritch Embraces, a collection of Lovecraftian romances (yep, you heard right). I got in right before they closed the anthology, which is the sort of thing that shows why leaving Demand might work out well—I really haven’t had time for marketing and submissions of late.
And my newest And column is out too.
Next week, phase two—or is it three? Four? How do I count them, exactly?