February 22nd, 2002

Yo Maniacal Tang

Hack Writing

Steve Martin used to have this really great routine he would use at the beginning of his stand-up act. He would come out, completely calm and fairly ordinary, and stand there, staring at the audience. He would then calmly state, deadpan "I'm just waiting for the drugs to take effect." Slowly, the trademark shit-eating grin would slowly erupt on his face, and he would start to giggle and move his body, obviously deliriously happy.

Lately I've been feeling like that's been happening to me. I keep feeling better and better, and it makes me wonder if the drugs are indeed, finally taking effect.

I woke up feeling so damn calm and relaxed. Rested. I only recall snippets of my dreams, but I remember telling Roni about one sequence that had me with her and her identical twin brother. She looked at me oddly, which didn't surprise me as it is a somewhat oxymoronic phrase. But she surprised me: "Did you know my mother was told by her Dr. that she was going to have twin boys when she was pregnant with me?"

I hadn't known that. "Yeah. When he told that to my mother, she said 'Well you better be prepared to take one of them home'".

Roni has some serious issues with her late mother. I can see why.

So, she went to the store while I type this. Something else happened last night, after I finally caught up with the week's journaling. I ran into Sarah Jayne, this lovely girl I know in the UK. Sarah and I have about 9 years of history now, yet another one of those "never met" on-line relationships that confuses the heck out of some people, but I take for granted after all this time. The kind of relationship, not the relationship itself. Oh, YOU know.

Anyway, she had some great advice for me on the job/money making front. She has some contacts in the US porn industry, because she's a BBW model, and said she would circulate my stats with some of the online porn companies in my area. I have no issues with working as a geek for one of those companies, and they have a hard time even ADVERTISING for people (a lot of the job boards won't allow ads from "adult" companies).

Another thing was she clued me into a way to make money writing that I hadn't heard of before. Apparently, there are ways you can sell bundles of original writing through these clearing houses for adult web-sites. She mentioned bundles of 20,30 stories, which gave me pause until she mentioned that they all HAD to be fairly short...maybe one, two pages long. Call it about 500-800 words a pop.

Just for example, everything I've written up to and including this paragraph is about 500 words. Talk about being up for the task...and I even have an incredible amount of source material to draw on. It only took me about 10 minutes to write it too.

I did the math: call it an average of 700 words, times 20, and we're looking at about 14,000 words. If you recall, my little Harry Potter slash (which is a lot higher quality than is necessary) took me about 24 hours to complete, which clocks in at about 6500 words. Pad the time a bit for the first effort, as I have no idea what kind of shortcuts or approach I'll take, or if I need to research a particular kink. Call it a week.

So she recommended a couple of sites, and I've already made an inquiry about what genres are selling at the moment. If I play this right I can move up to spec writing higher quality stuff for substantially higher prices.

Issues? Well, I view this about the same level as tech writing, copy writing, or even the web site stuff I did for Garage.com. I'm getting paid to write material about stuff I'm not necessarily into myself. Actually, it might be a tad better, as I can actually have a lot of fun with something like this.

The hardest part is the ramp up time -- obviously the more you do, the more money you can have coming in. I also don't know what the real market is, and how long a particular bundle will keep selling before it, well, peters out. Based on the prices I was seeing, minus thee clearing house commission, I would have to sell about 10 of these a week. If I only sell one of each of a particular bundle every 7 days, I would need (therefore) 10 of those before I made enough money to stop worrying about finances. That's about two months of work, part time, and about 200-250 stories. sounds scary until I remember it's only about 300, 400 pages of hack work.

We'll see how it goes.
  • Current Mood
    hopeful hopeful
Yo Maniacal Tang

Happy Shiny Proposals

Well, there I was, hanging around computing in the nude and all, when ambar calls and says "How much would you charge to clean up that phone closet I told you about?" (LONG story. Ok, maybe not as long as I tend to write them, but it's boring). We talk about it a bit, and she runs off to do lunch with this guy Richard.

awhile later she calls back to tell me that they wanted a more detailed estimate of wht it would cost them to do an actual job. An hour and a half later I'm in Mountain View scoping out what has got to be one of the more egregious examples of anal-retentiveness combined with incompetence I have ever seen.

I think as the next rise in the economy happens I'm going to see a lot of work like this: Places where the dot.com insanity forced people to use people that did more long term damage than good, and now have all of this legacy infrastructure that is a house of cards waiting to spontaneously combust.

During the day, I realized something about myself I hadn't really defined before...I know I have an odd way of thinking, but I really forget it at times.

Looking at all of this mess, talking it over with Richard and Ambar, I literally had only the vaguest of notions of what I was actually going to do. In the past, this would induce all forms of panic, anxiety, and other primal emotional reactions that would spurt forth like an over-filled water balloon with pin holes. This time, I felt fine. Just like the other times, I had that weird feeling (literally on the drive back to SF) all the pieces fell into place. I knew exactly how to handle the entire job.

I've already written the proposal, I just need to look up some costs online and it'll fly. They didn't even blink at my time and hourly estimates, and the solution I thought of in the car really reduces the issues they have with their cabling and down time.

Damn, I could really use this. Not just for the money, but for the sheer joy of tearing into something and making it right. It's been way too long.

This doesn't even impact the other stuff I've been talking about here...we're talking about a mid-march start date at earliest, which gives me a few weeks to work on other stuff.

I've also finished the first part of the story I'm working on with Toria...I'll post the link once I know where it'll be.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished