When I was still in school, I used to write short stories, poems, articles and basically, random thoughts that come to mind. I’ve had volumes of written journals since I was a kid and have maintained a blog since 2002. It doesn’t make me a good writer, far from it. It just means that my mind is a cluttered mess of whatnots and unlike Professor Dumbledore, I don’t have a Pensieve wherein I can put my tiny vials of memories in and recall them whenever I wish. I hope I did, though, grammar and proper punctuation would never have been an issue.
Anyway, when I was feeling burned out from work, (yeah, like during the nth time) I decided to send an application to this website, Essays.ph (http://forums.essays.ph) – it’s a website devoted to giving freelance writers the opportunity to work in the comfort of their own homes. It isn’t a scam, it’s a Philippine-based company with an actual office in Makati, I think and they have full time editors working there. The commissioned writers would receive a salary for every article they submit that gets approved, earn points and rank higher in the system if they perform well, etc. I submitted my application and after a few days, I received an acceptance e-mail. BUT. I was part of the group that could ONLY navigate the forums. I had to submit an article of my own, any piece of writing proving my worth as a professional and if the gods in this website deem me suitable enough, I will be moved to a probationary bracket that can start accepting writing assignments.
Now. For someone who had a time(life?)-consuming day job at that time, this seemed like a lot of effort. I kept putting it off and I don’t think I ever got around to submitting an article. It stayed at the back of my mind, because who doesn’t want to love what they do for a living? I love writing! I love exclamations points! Err. I just wasn’t confident enough in the kind of rambling-whatever-writing skills I had (or lack thereof as manifested in this post) and I just didn’t want someone to confirm that for me. I wasn’t ready. I’m still not, so please don’t tell me.
Fast forward to a jobless and pregnant me today, I received an e-mail this week saying that I am now part of the probationary team that can accept writing assignments and prove their worth and such. So I took the chance and took on assignments every day after that. I have written about eight 500-word articles now- one is a review of baby car seats and another is all about timber garages- which are topics I would never delve into if I had a choice. But as my husband pointed out to me the other day, I looked disoriented but more pleased as punch because it’s a challenge. I’ve never done this before. It’s not rocket science and it isn’t fluffy poetry with exact symmetry, but for me, it is hard. Every writing assignment is a challenge. I’ve never seen a topic that I went, “OHMIGOSH, THIS IS SO ME! I WILL CLAIM THIS!” on the contrary, every time I click the CLAIM ASSIGNMENT NOW button, I get scared. But I feel butterflies and like riding a bicycle again after a long time, I’m getting used to it. I’m looking forward to new assignments and hopefully, I could get better at this. It’s hard and the deadlines are strict, rules are solid and you have to use keywords and SEO stuff – which I didn’t know anything of, until, well, now. Seeing so many people getting plenty of points (1 peso per point, the higher the word count, the higher the pay) and bravely claiming and submitting assignments like nothing is unnerving. I wonder how I even fancied myself as someone who “writes” in the first place. I feel challenged (mentally, yeah haha) like I need to be able to learn how to do this properly. And the only way to learn is to keep on doing it. A number of my articles might be rejected, I might encounter plenty of requests for revisions in the future- but this is something I need to experience.
And experience it, I will. (AND GET PAID, TOO!)