Friday, October 29, 2010

It starts here.

It's been a bumpy ride, but that's not important. I am here now, and that is the best thing about me. Finding myself far away from a home I will not return to, robbed of much of the vestigal cache of junk that remained after the immigration fraudster & the trustafarian got done clearing out my place, my savings, and my children's souls, I am in the awkward situation of needing to figure out how to make some money, and Nicaragua is no place to do that unless you have some capital or are really not bothered by becoming one of the bad guys.
Enter syndicated on-line writing brokers! Demand Media seemed like a cute idea when I first saw it on Mashable a few weeks ago. "Of course, I am a greta writer! Just ask me! Why, I love my writing, on occasion, and my loving fiancee once in a while actually sits & reads something I've written, making a special effort to turn grimaces into smiles."
I got down to reading guidelines, and the more I read, the clearer it became that I am not a writer, and that it's hard, brow-breaking work! Efficiency. Separate your research from your writing. Don't dawdle! Get in, do your work, follow all the rules (is that Oxford or AP style?), focus 100%, watch out for accidental plagiarism, black-listed references, meandering prose, commas in the wrong place, articles, conjunctions, dangling participles, split infinitives, straying topics, topics that are too similar, topics that are too different, being too technical, being too general, being too specific, not having quotable references, or having too many quotes, then get out!  This is the gist of most advice from sage & experienced syndicated content writers out in the cloud, and it makes sense.
I am afraid to try. Today, maybe tomorrow, or the next day, I need to get that first article in. I know I don't remember the 50 pages worth of rules, let alone the 432 pages worth of AP Stylebook that I, of course, already know (ahem..). I won't insult the reader's intelligence by even suggesting that either of us might not have Strunk & White memorized chapter & verse, of course. Thankfully, it's easy to find online as well as in the baggage we brought with us.
I am feeling timid. I understand that Demand Media is, well, very demanding of its beginnign writers. Rejections are easy to get, and detailed explanations are hard to come by. Three strikes and you're out, like a Rastafarian at a Nancy Reagan tea-party...
So the greatest gift of all is the gift of opportunity. After reading these guidelines for a week, I think I need to try. I see that I had no idea, and mostly still don't, but I believe that it's possible, and that all the good ideas in my head will not fall out just because I am writing how-to's for changing hard-disks and distributor-caps. On the contrary - if I cannot do that, then it is much less likely that I can tell a simple story, let alone from more than one virtual point of view. Anchors aweigh, then.