Monday, March 31, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Freelancer

In the past, I have likened a day in my writing life as a pinball in a machine played by a meth-driven Type A Personality. (Over the top a bit? Nah!) Today has been like that, only add some steroids and desperation into the player's personality, and it will be more accurate.

Walk with me, if you will, through my day . . .
I was offered a job with a new company. To first get approved by this company, I had to spend two plus hours writing high level, complex sample items. (Apparently a resume highlighting 350 plus books and 25 years in the educational assessment field just isn't enough proof of skill and experience.) I did them, submitted them, and lo and behold, they accepted me. Prepared to send me a contract. Oh . . .by the way, guess how much they pay per question? .87. Miss that decimal point perhaps? That is EIGHTY SEVEN CENTS per question. My usual rate for this type of question? $10 to $20 each. Yes, that is DOLLARS. So, although I admit math is not my strongest suit, 87 cents seemed just a little LOW. Ha. So no thanks on that one. Would have been nice to know the rates BEFORE the samples, but do companies work that way? Nope.

Next, I was asked to write a few extra chapters for a book about Nascar. Decent rate, quick turn around time, good company. Yes to that one.

Next, I was asked if I could be profiled on a publisher's page as Author of the Month. Public praise? Heck yes. Submitted a couple of pics, a bio, and some links. Easy peasy.

Next, I was offered a couple of college courses to write on either composition or communication. Happy either way. Like the topics, like the work, like the boss. Good to go.


Next, I was told work I did in February was still in the "review" stage, so payment had not been processed and wouldn't likely arrive until . . May. Sigh.

Next, I will be researching material about science for a 4th grade lesson on earth systems. I know nothing now, but will soon. That will be followed up by reading about Mesopotamia for a first grade, yes, first grade, book on the culture.

Oh yes, I have to stop and write six grade 7 items for a company, due in the morning. Then, over to grade 8 items for someone else, due Wednesday.

This is all today. On Friday, I was offered several other jobs, for which I have to apply, submit, wait, and then determine if the rate, turnaround time, and details are decent.

Wonder why I stammer when people say, So, what do you write, Tami?


Barbara said...

Oh my gosh. I'm tired just reading what your day was like. Good luck getting it all finished.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious how you can phrase a question for one grade level but then alter it so it's suitable for the next grade level. I know you aren't writing questions for the same subject for two sequential grades, but how much do they differ by, and how do you tell if you've hit the mark. I would think that there's little to distinguish the two grade levels. Do you shoot for a range?

WritingGoddess said...

Hey Ellen--good question. The computer has a built in system called Flesch-Kincaid that measures the grade level of what you have written. The two keys to determining that grade level are sentence complexity (length of sentence) and vocabulary. I have a book I use to determine the exact grade level of a word. As a homeschooler, I don't agree with any of it. But for national tests, I follow their rules. Thanks for asking.

BevE said...

Well, I am pretty sure that you will not have Alzheimers. You are keeping your brain pretty active learning new things.