Yesterday had ups and downs. Mostly ups.
I began the day feeling slightly stressed by the fact that I had no paying work for the day, a very rare occurence. There will come a time when I will think, “Oh, good, an opportunity to do some of those business tasks” when that happens. In fact, I do think that in the abstract. Not only are there things like transferring sprawled notes about business expenses into my software and clearing up files, but I also have skills to improve and software to learn and state history books sitting around waiting for me to decide what to do with them. When I’ve developed sufficient faith and quit being a wimp, I’ll perhaps even take a PSD or a hike on such days. Just not yet.
Instead, I’ve been fiddling around waiting to hear from my Big Client about how much of the time I’ve saved for them they might actually want, and not seeking out new clients for fear they’ll want all of it, and fretting for fear they’ll want so little of it that I won’t be able to pay #1 son’s tuition, because time and money are like Scylla and Charibdis here.
Then I encountered oDesk, a sort of clearing house for web writers and developers and so on. People like me can go sign up there and then folks who need someone like me can go shopping and get someone to write or code or whatever for them. The “o” may stand for “outsource” or even “offshore” since a lot of their choices on forms include “I can code in English but cannot speak English comfortably” and stuff like that. However, you set your own price and they guarantee payment, and it seems like a respectable outfit.
It also seems like a useful resource. After all, if you need witty finance articles for your company newsletter, or inserts for your diet meal shipments that discuss nutrition without specifying any foods, or someone to write text for your Adult Reality Webcam site, what will you do? An ad in your local paper is hardly likely to net you the rather specialized skills you need. I just got today’s announcements from oDesk, and they include someone to write smoking fetish articles, someone to write hundreds of articles on all different topics for $10 a pop, and someone to ghost write articles on divorce in Texas, so I’d say there’s just something for everybody there.
So I signed up at oDesk and took some tests. They list your scores on your profile, so the shoppers can browse around and find someone who did well on the XHTML and phone ettiquette sections, or whatever the case may be. I had the highest ever score on the English structure (that is, I got them all right, which I assume many native speakers do, but I got a little blue ribbon icon saying “Top Score” and a note telling me to “check out your stylish new profile”), and top 10 on the others, so I put in my wholesale price and went ahead and applied for a blogging job that looked very well suited to me. Not the Adult Reality Webcam one. This is an education thing, and they’d be lucky to have me. But the wholesale price makes sense, because they’re not getting any extras. oDesk takes a screenshot every ten minutes to guarantee to the buyer that you’re not cruising eBay on their nickel, so it’s definitely not going to be the kind of thing where they can call and discuss their marketing strategy with me in my free time.
Within an hour, I had a response from the buyer, asking for an estimate to do a post a week at each of his three bogs. So that’s not bad at all. If it turns out that oDesk is a steady source of work for me, then I can just relax about my individual clients and enjoy whatever comes up.
Speaking of which, I had a new local person ask me for a proposal. So I may have two new gigs once I send in my proposals to them today after class.
On the other hand, the IT guy from church stood me up. No message, no email waiting for me when I got home, nothing. I was a bit miffed, I’ll admit. I don’t have so much free time that it means nothing for me to wait for someone for half an hour. It also means that the problem is not solved. And something very similar is coming up with another potential new client, for whom I will also be doing a proposal this afternoon. I have therapist clients. Maybe they could take up couples counseling for webmasters and site owners. I don’t really feel qualified to do that.
Otherwise, there were all kinds of nice things. I had a message from the college where I’m teaching, saying they’d schedule me next year in my own county, and give me an 8:00 am class. I can just stop at the gym on the way home, and still get to the computer by 10:00 every day. I hadn’t made any requests, since I don’t even know my schedule for the rest of this season and wasn’t ready to commit myself for next term, but that it an excellent arrangement, and I’m enjoying the current class very much, so I agreed.
And look what a pretty website I’m going to have! The Computer Guy hired another developer, and she will be converting it into code first thing. I don’t know how long that takes, but I’m guessing it’ll be live by next week. I intend to have fun with plying the Dark Art on it.
(Do me a favor and don’t look at my name, okay? That’s a secret.)
Or, if websites aren’t to your taste, then you might like the pretty roses from my thicket of roses. The edges of Gustav came by here yesterday and today, and they are a bit bedraggled from being rained on, but lovely anyway.
“I should have cut the grass on Monday morning,” he said. “It’s been raining since then, and the grass is happy. ‘I’m getting taller and taller!”
This was said in a grass-like voice.
“‘No one can cut me now!'”
I gazed with him on the happy, triumphant grass.
There is also another melon growing under the basketball standard. We can’t pick it till we’ve had a couple of dry days, or the flavor will be watered down, so I hope it doesn’t become over-ripe before that happens.
However, I am enjoying the rain.
I came back on September 29th, 2012. This was the last day I ever had no paying work.