Tag Archives: paid work

Meaningful Acceptance

Black and white photo of me (environmental portraiture), with an umbrella, taken by Ramin Izadpahah during a photography class he was running.

Black and white photo of me (environmental portraiture), with an umbrella, taken by Ramin Izadpahah during a photography class he was running.


 
So, I just got the heads-up that two of my poems have been accepted to an anthology. I’m not saying which one yet. I don’t tend to make those announcements until the magazine/anthology/chapbook/etc actually launches and, anyway, the author contracts haven’t been sent out, let alone had time for the ink to dry.
 
But, you guys… Look. I send my poems out to places that are likely to find them relevant and appropriate for what they want to publish. Everybody does this. It’s good sense.
But sometimes the submission process feels a little more vulnerable, y’know?
And this particular anthology is one of those times.
I wasn’t sure I had a chance of getting a Yes from them. They got hundreds of submissions, and can only take so many, right?
It means so much that they found my work worthy. That it was relevant. That it fit.
 
I’ve seriously been sitting here, crying, since I opened the email.
I get to be in a book with one of my heroes.
 
So I’m just going to go be a weepy mess for a little bit.
Oh my gods, you guys,, this is such a big deal. ❀

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Bywords.ca – I’m In It! :-D

So, okay, yes, my submission to Room Magazine’s Queer Issue got rejected. (Alas! But also: Hey, fellow 98% of people who submit to Room, I just joined the club!)
BUT the poem to-which I alluded earlier is now up and published and I can therefore crow about it and post links all over the place, and so here we go. πŸ˜€
 

“Compass Rose” drawing by Seamus McGill


 
I am delighted to announce that my poem, Compass, has been published at Bywords.ca (and I admit I am weirdly chuffed that it’s up the week that VERSeFest kicks off, even though I know those things are not at all related).
Bywords.ca has published my work before, back in May 2011, and was both one of the first times my poetry got published AND one of that last times I sent my poetry out until this past December.
Oh, and kittens? It’s a paid market. \o/
So, y’know. Send them your stuff!
 
 
Cheers,
A.

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Actual Story Sale OH MY GAWD

So I wrote an age-play story and I actually got paid for it.
Seriously.
It’s not my first time getting a story published, but it is my first time getting a story published for money. And not, like, honurarium money, either. “Pays for a week of groceries (if I’m careful)” money. I’m all a-squee about it. ZOMG.
 
Anyway.
So that’s fantastic, and now I need to find more work like that because, hey, I can do this. CLEARLY I can do this. πŸ˜€
 
 
TTFN,
A.

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PPO Insite Theatre Fundraiser – I’m Reading At It! (Friday, October 24th, 8pm – Cafe Nostalgica)

So I got an email from a friend the other day, asking if I’d be willing to perform some of my (tamer) erotic poetry and fiction at a fundraiser for the local Planned Parenthood this Friday the 24th (tomorrow). I’ve sent her a copy of my latest story – one that’s short enough to fit into my allotted time while still allowing me to include a few pieces of poetry as well – just to make sure that it’s okay for the intended audience.
I gather it’ll be a pretty vanilla crowd – though, if you’re kinky and interested in supporting Planned Parenthood Ottawa, I’d love to see you in the audience at Cafe Nostalgica (U of O Campus) at 8pm – so a story that includes choking, even self-choking, might wind up being a little too much. I sure hope not, though!
Beyond that, I’ll probably read “Teeth” (an oldy, but a goody) and a couple of short poems from my “Sweet and Sharp” chapbook. Whether or not I get paid is, alas, dependent on whether or not PPO meets their fundraising goal for the evening, but it still sounds like a fun gig, so I’m in. πŸ™‚

Tickets are $25 (available online and also from the PPO Office – 2197 Riverside, near Bank St) and include the reading, a burlesque performance (Bella Barecat) and admission to the evening’s dance party (ft DJ Caffrey). There will be prizes for best costume plus a photo booth as well.

Sexy Masquerade for PPO’s Insite Theatre
Cafe Nostalgica (601 Cumberland, U of O Campus)
Friday, October 24th
8pm-2am
Tickets $25 in advance

I’ll most likely be dolled up in my Lilith Gear. Hope to see you there, Ottawa/Gatineau Folks.

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A Life that Reflects Your Values

Zen Pencil offers this cartoon from Bill Waterson.
So very, very much worth remembering.
 

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Insecurities and Magical Causality

So, I recently (like, minutes ago), reblogged this post from John Scalzi’s blog. In it, just to blow the ending for you, he points out that the only question that will determine whether or not you’re a professional writer is “Do you get paid to write?[1]”
 
In my case, the answer to that one is currently (and, sporadically, for the past two or three years) Yes. Not much. Not in any kind of a reliable way[2], but Yes. I do get paid (in money, no less[3]!) to write. Go me. πŸ˜€
 
I’ve written before about how I, as an insecure writer without a lot of non-blog-related publications to my name, tend to crave the validation of having someone else (A Publisher) say “Yes, You Are Worthy” to me and my creative output. I think that (somewhere… can’t find it) I’ve also written about my own internal, and somewhat weird-ass although probably not that unusual, Hierarchy Of Writing wherein the writing I’m paid to do (content writing for websites, which makes up the vast majority of my paid writing work) is lower on that hierarchy than the writing that “makes you (me) a Real Writer” (fiction and poetry).
My mental hierarchy may not look the same as yours, or as someone else’s. Maybe your hierarchy lists “chatty magazine article for international publication” far higher than “e-novella from a small press”, or maybe your hierarchy flips those two right around and the niche-marketted but globally available e-novella is your longed-for goal. Maybe you rank non-fiction above fiction by a significant margin. Regardless, I’m sure you get the drift.
 
I think that a lot of us who make our livings as swords scribes for hire – particularly those of us who aren’t scraping a reliable living wage out of our writing (yet) – are looking for ways to Get Results Paid.
I know I am.
I write for a living. I model for a living. I sell poetry-inspired jewelry on Etsy for a living. Remarkably little of what I spend my work-time on, in a given month, reliably translates into cash in hand.
I can do every damn thing in the world – write a thousand words a day; edit carefully; join a writers’ group for peer-editing exchanges and mutual support; subscribe to call-for-submissions news letters; participate in open mics; submit my work to every market I can find; scour craigslist for content-jobs… but, while this stuff will up my output, and up my *chances* of getting published or getting a paid gig[4]… it doesn’t directly translate into getting paid-published more frequently. That bit – the bit where my work is accepted for publications, the bit where the employer decides to hire me – is out of my control.
 
I can tell myself that my job is to put words on the page. I can, and I do, and then I go and do my job. But I’m also constantly, painfully aware of that fact that me doing my job and me getting paid to do my job are two very different things. (See: Waltzing with the broom in the Hall of Writers’ Anxiety, if you’re wondering if that’s just me). Reminding myself that my job is to create the creations… that’s helpful when it comes to standing up to (internal) questions about whether or not working on my novel, or my next collection of jewelry, or a new batch of soap, or a new poem, is “an apporpriate use of my time”. It’s not so helpful when it comes to staring down the spectre of “I can’t even pretend that my income is within my control, why am I doing this again?”.
 
Sometimes I think that’s why we do this stuff – make lists, like talismans, of “If you do these things, you will get X result” even when there isn’t actually any causal link between them. I think, maybe, we’re looking for a spell.
 
And maybe that’s just me. (Or not). Maybe I’m drawing this particular connection between (A) treating obsession as if it meant being worthy of survival; (B) a list of alleged proof of professionalism[5] that is really proof of obsession; (C) a desperate need for control in a situation where we don’t have a lot of control; (D) a desperate need for external validation in a situation where we are frequently told that our work has no value until it has a dollar-value attached to it (and people are willing to shell out); and (E) the anthropological finding that the use of magic is inversely proportional to the amount of control a given potential magic-user has over a given situation[6] because I’m also an anthropologist (of sorts) and a witch.
But it feel like we’re doing Internet Magic when we tell the world (the internet) “I Am A Professional Writer Because: Unrelated Reasons” we are offering an exchange on a magical, or magico-religous level: If I do X, Y, and Z, you, Universe, will provide Q, R, and P. Spirit workers make deals like this, negotiating with gods and spirits, setting terms, offering payment, in order to gain knowledge, or a favour, or whatever it is we’re trying to get ahold of or get done. Catholics with their novenas do the same thing. And I think this is related.
If I pour all my energy into writing, forsake my friends, starve in a garet, forget to eat… you, Universe, will honour my dedication with a two-book deal / a published manuscript / a syndicated column / a royalties cheque
 
I’m not sure what to make of all of this. But it’s sitting in my head and making noise, so I thought I’d write it down. πŸ™‚
 
 
TTFN,
A.
 
 
[1] This is rather like what a friend said to me, once, when I was having one of my “am I really a writer” freakouts. She said: “I think writing makes you a real writer, and getting published makes you a real writer who’s been published”. Admittedly, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gyst of it right there.
 
[2] I actually have to send a note to my Australian employers to discuss how (when) I’m going to be paid going forward. That said: There’s a “going forward” involved in this, so Hey! πŸ˜€
 
[3] I’ve also been paid in store credit and, occasionally, contributor copies. Both are nice. Neither buys me groceries. (Unless I want to subsist on chocolate body paint, anyway). I count that stuff as compensation because, well, it is. But I don’t think of it as “getting paid”.
 
[4] In-so-far as you get more chances of publication every time you submit another piece of work to this or that magazine/anthology/etc.
 
[5] And that’s interesting in and of itself, because “professional” means “I get paid to do this” but “professionalism” means “I behave like an adult I’m worth paying to do this” and, what’s more, the bahviour in question frequently winds up meaning “I will volunteer more hours than I’m paid for” and “I will work overtime on no notice” and “I will make this task the center of my identity”. And that is some messed up thinking, dolls, even when I catch myself doing it. :-\
 
[6] Baseball Magic.

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Paid Work! :-D (Landing Pages)

Okay, this is a microscopic bit of news, and it’s about copy-writing, so not exactly Amazing Creative Gold going on here, BUT: I got hired to write a bunch of landing pages for an Australian moving company, and I did the work and I just got paid.
I’m still so very, very much at the point where actually getting paid (in money, no less, rather than Contributor Copies or store credit or whatever) for my written work is Kind Of Amazing. Even if it works out to hovering around minimum wage.
Explanation: Given the number of pages I wrote and how long it took me and how much I was getting paid per page… I was making somewhere between $10 and $13 per hour. Which, seriously? Is pretty much what I make doing temp work, so it’s nothing unusual, and is a good economic shot-in-the-arm as far as I’m concerned.
PLUS
Writing! πŸ˜€
 
Seriously. Even though I was gritting my teeth through most of it, and even though I was honestly worried about whether or not this company was hiring people literally half a world away from where they were located (their dollar is worth less than mine on a global scale, fyi) and offering an acceptable wage for the work, because they had no intention of actually paying up (… I don’t know. There are so many scams on Kijiji and Craigslist, but this one looked legit enough because they weren’t offering a huge amount of money. I’m glad this turned out to be the case). Despite all of that, and despite my having been willing to put it down to “a learning experience”[1] if it turned out to be a Big Scam, I’m still really glad to have found the ad, applied for the job, and got the job because it meant I was professionally doing what I do anyway, which is write all the goddamn time. πŸ™‚
 
So that’s my joyful elation for the morning. I now have an extra $130 in the bank (YAY!) and am feeling that much better about the world. πŸ™‚
They have asked if I’d be interested in doing more work along similar lines, which: Yeah. I would. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to it, even. πŸ™‚
 
Anyway. For the moment, I’m going to hie myself to the Byward Market where I will sort out more Novel-Related stuff (Moral Decisions and similar), hit up the Sassy Bead for some bits and bobs for a proto-comission (I’m iffy as to whether or not that one’s even going to happen, honestly), and then meet a friend for coffee.
But mostly: Writing.
YAY! πŸ˜€
 
 
TTFN,
A.
 
 
[1] For example: Always send an invoice. I’m so used to modeling, where you get paid in cash and there is no paperwork involved (most of the time) or where, when there is paperwork involved, it involved me filing out a form that’s provided by my employer. Either way. This thing where I create a bill and send it off (and it doesn’t get ignored!) is still – weirdly – a new thing for me. πŸ™‚

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