General posts about writing (sometimes my own, but not always)

How I almost forgot why I write (and how I got back on track)

It’s easy to lose sight of why you write. For about two years now, I’ve worked full-time as a freelance writer and social media marketer, penning corporate blogs, articles for SEO specialists, the occasional news story, website copy, and whatever else people will pay me to write. I’ve done freelance work on the side for many years, but that switch in autumn 2014 was a big plunge into icy cold water. It hasn’t always been easy. The money mostly sucks, the workload is hot and cold, the guilt can be crushing, people often don’t want to pay you or they will try to scam you, you have to operate like a small business (which is antithetical to why you write in the first place), and…
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Interactive Content Services, a jackass company for jackasses staffed by jackasses

Recently saw a help wanted ad seeking an online reporter, a part-time telecommute position involving doing stuff I’ve done for, oh, the last 15 years or so. Perfect. More work is always (okay, usually) good. I could slot that work into my freelance schedule, add a little income, and stay sane in the process. I applied, providing many writing samples when I did, as requested. This is the response I got, in full, from jobs@contentservices.co: Dear Eric, Thank you for your interest in the company and for sending me your samples. You have been identified as a possible reporter candidate for our group of legal journalism websites and newspapers. As stated in the job posting, the average pay for these types of stories is $24 each. However,…
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“Fixing my toilet will be great exposure for your plumbing business” and other bullshit writers deal with

Emails like the following are not uncommon, so today I figured I’d spotlight one of them – and anyone who writes, draws, or designs for a living gets this sort of pitch all the time: Dear Eric, Hope all is well. In the coming month a new and unique website will be launching called REMOVED.  While virtually all other sites directed towards the male audience focus on sex, sports or men’s fashion, REMOVED will provide men with the resources to connect and exchange ideas on everyday issues, including relationships, life, marriage, parenting, etc. Based on your expertise and published work, we feel you have a voice that would be complimentary to the content we will be offering.  We’d love to have you contribute an entertaining and…
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New post-apocalyptic fiction by yours truly at 365 Tomorrows. Check it out

Post-apocalyptic flash fiction by me. Here’s a tease: By the time the sandstorm passed, the sun had fallen and the orange skies had faded to a bruised brown and purple. The towers still seemed unreachable, perched on a dream horizon. Faint whispers of yesterday clutching at sky that no longer wanted it. Read the rest here at 365 Tomorrows. It will only take you a minute or so and it will make your day the greatest day you’ve ever had, ever, because that’s what demon-infested cities will do.

Is there still an interest in Hurricane Sandy survival stories?

The title question is a legitimate question, and one I want an answer to for legit, tangible reasons. It’s not just because I have a personal experience with the storm, though as this video taken from my bedroom window will tell you, I do: It is not because I lived it — LOADS of people did, and a great many had far, far worse experiences than I did — but because I devoted a lot of time to talking to people and writing about their experiences, and I’d like to see that material see the light of day. Years ago, I wrote a feature for the Philly Weekly about my Sandy experience that ended up winning second place in the 2014 Keystone Press Awards. Cool(ish). (Second place…
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