Monthly Archives: May 2011

On Holiday

So, it dawned on me this week that this is a holiday weekend. Memorial Day. A holiday that I usually forget until I either show up to work on Monday or I suddenly remember on Friday that it’s a three day weekend. Of course, as I freelancer, I’m starting to realize that holidays can be any day for me.

Last year when I was still employed at a job job, sometimes we got holidays off. The major ones of course, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, were extended for four days or even two weeks (Christmas/New Year), but the smaller holidays, like Labor Day or the 4th of July were iffy. I might get it off or work half a day or of course, work while enjoying the holiday party or something.

This will be my first official holiday (Cinco de Mayo kinda doesn’t count as it’s my friend’s birthday, so we kinda forget that it’s a holiday) and I’m wondering should I continue with my productive work schedule or work half a day? I guess the real question is – can I afford to take off a holiday?

That answer is met with a shrug. Luckily, I’ll be good for bills next month, which is great and certainly better than previous months. But on the other hand, this holiday could easily wreck my perfect return to productivity. I’ll admit that this week was a bit shaky thanks to helping friends move, but I still managed to turn in articles every day. And now that I’ve replaced my coffee maker and I gets the coffee, I can wake up at 6 am and get to work.

Of course when I first got started, I looked up what to do when met with a holiday as a freelancer. Work it or don’t? If I treat this like a job, I’m met with the same question. Certainly when I worked at the hospital, I worked holidays and sometimes I didn’t. That said, I’m looking for that great job where I will NEVER work on any holiday, even my birthday.

With that said, maybe I will put up some articles and then get to writing those fics that are just sitting around.

For those with the day off and celebrating – Happy Memorial Day! Have fun, be Safe!

Why Google’s Panda Isn’t So Nice

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Last month was as crazy as you could imagine. Not only was I in a world of financial hurt, but the final and last straw came when one of the online publication sites I write for broke the news about Google’s Panda update.

All hell broke loose.

So those of you who may not know, Google – since the beginning of the year – has been trying to cut down on those article sites that pop up in the search queue with irrelevant information. These are the kind of sites that will have several articles that ask, “How to Brush Your Teeth” with the same content, but fifteen different titles.

This is called a content farm. I recognized the situation, because I write for one. I’m not knocking it cause it’s extra money, but as I tried to explain to friends, there’s a reason that I don’t write for that particular site exclusively. Again, it’s money, and as we all know, I likes me the money.

Anyway, back to Google. So Google is getting fed up with these sites busting down the legit sites, so it starts changing the way searches are shown. This starts in January 2011 with their Farmer update. In laymen terms, Google’s people make it so that these content farms don’t show within the first page of results. A few months later (last month to be exact), Panda came rolling about and broke everyone’s shit.

Now, on a good scale – as a writer, I was quite impressed with my major article site because all the editors busted out all the stops to get our content to work with the change. Quality over quantity over there and it makes all the writers and editors there better writers. I can’t argue that.

The downside of course is that I had a shit load of articles come back to me that needed to be edited. Out of the 300+ on that site, 60 something articles came back to me. 60. Luckily, they weren’t hard edits, but I have my work cut out for me. Like, this entire month of May has been spent editing these articles. I just finished batch one last week and have plans on working batch three this weekend.

That’s a lot of writing, let me tell you.

If I was getting burned out from writing last month, this month stopped that whining. And of course, don’t forget that I was without Internet for an entire month, so I’m also behind on website updating over at SPANTENNA and of course those fan fics that are sitting around (or have been sitting around) waiting for me to finish them.

Again, there are pros to this – major article site is making me be a better writer. Even when I’m seething inside at needing to resubmit something, I know that it’s a good. Cons of course are that I am far behind than what I should be. I was reminded earlier in the week why it takes me two to three hours to update the website – I do not write short stories. I don’t think I have ever been capable of writing a short story.

Not even the short stories in school were short. In fact, that was the major problem – they were too long.

Y’all are in luck those, cause the next few weeks are all about being productive and believe me, I’ve been crazy productive. It’s actually lasted for two weeks. That’s like a record or something.

I’m BAAAAAACK!

Yes, faithful reader or sometimes reader or just stumbled here reader, I have returned. It really was scary for a bit, but it seems things have settled for the moment.

As a budding freelancer, I ran into a wall. Really, really hard wall that hurt like hell. If you’re a new freelancer like me, you have hit this wall or you feel you’ve hit your wall. The last few months for me have been a major wall, which if you have been reading were really depressing for me.

But this month seems to going okay. So what’s the lesson of the weekend?

1. Freelancer R will now be updated on Saturdays.

2. The life lesson in this – as a freelancer, there are challenges to be met and eventually conquored or something along the way.

So freelancers, if you’re just starting out or trying to find your footing, the best I can say is don’t give up. Even if it means you need to put a hold on it and come back to it.