I was busy this week with a freelance writing job. That’s good news/bad news, actually, because what should have taken a few hours (by the client’s estimate) actually took a few days to complete. I didn’t make much money.
“I need someone to rewrite and edit some medical articles on diseases,” the client said.”I want you to write them in a conversational voice.”
“I can to that!” I replied, and so I got the job (or “gig” as we in the know like to say).
He sent me the first batch of 20 articles and I read them first, because I never really know how I’m going to approach a new job/gig.
It started out with illnesses like chickenpox and walking pneumonia, both of which I’m quite familiar with. No problem, other than I had to do more research on the Internet before I could edit them properly. On it went through arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and fibromyalgia. And then…
Then it segued into sexually transmitted diseases, a well into which I had never dipped so many toes before. As this is not, shall we say, my area of expertise, I had to do a lot of searches on the Internet to find more information.
The next morning at 5:00, with the computer powered on and coffee at hand, I started. “All right,” I thought, “bring on the STDs,” sounding very much like a nurse practitioner as he or she unlocks the door at the walk-in clinic each morning.
My day went like this:
- 5:00-6:15 — Go to the internet so search for symptoms and statistics for chlamydia. Edit the article.
- 6:30-8:00 — Ditto for HIV/AIDS.
- 8:00-10:00 — Moving on to genital herpes.
- 10:00-12:30 – Stop for a hair appointment. As I’m paying the bill, I tell the stylist that I just finished writing about Herpes before my appointment. Now I have to hurry back to jump into genital warts.
- 1:00-6:00 — Just keep wading through all the topics until I’m finished.
Here’s what I worry about:
- After three days of searching on the Internet, am I now on some sort of Watch List as someone entirely too interested in the topic?
- Just what sort of cookies sit on my computer now?
- Will this blog post get an unusual number of hits due to the subject matter? (Not entirely bad, I guess. After all, a page hit is a page hit.)
- Is this any way to try to earn a living?
And here’s what I learned:
- If you have an STD, you have plenty of company.
- Use protection and don’t share needles.
- Gonorrhea is tricky to spell.
- So is Chlamydia.