Making money through the written word or Ebay

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Genome, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Genome

    Genome New Member

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first time visiting this website. I'm 33 and until recently had worked more-or-less full-time since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia 5 years ago. (Obviously, mine is a relatively low grade case, though it's certainly no fun.)

    Having quit a too-stressful job that was causing my health to decline, I'm looking for part-time work while exploring the feasibility of supplementing that with freelance proofreading, editing or writing to allow more flexibility. I've been scouring the internet and asking everyone I can think of for leads and advice, and finally it occurred to me to come to a site like this where people would know what it's like to have fibromyalgia.

    I have a few questions for Shenanegans, though I noticed she hasn't posted recently and may no longer visit this site. If you're out there, I'm wondering: have you had any luck with, or have any advice about, freelance editing? Also, can you actually make ends meet selling stuff on Ebay?

    Does anyone else have experience trying to pay the bills by selling on Ebay?

    For Zerped or anyone else, do you have advice about getting started as a freelance writer? My original plan was to focus on proofreading and/or copyediting. I thought it might be easier or somehow more straigtforward to get those jobs than to earn money writing, and I do have some experience in those areas. However, my investigation so far suggests that, given the effort I'm likely to have to put into making proofreading/editing a viable career, I might as well at least take a stab at writing, which is my real interest. I have an MFA and a handful of publications but they're mostly poems, and I certainly don't expect to make money off poems! I do have one published book review/interview, but otherwise have no "street cred" as a nonfiction writer.

    Finally, does anyone know anything about ghostwriting? Who gets those jobs, and how?!

    I'd be grateful for any thoughts anyone may care to share. (For the record I live in Lexington, Kentucky, where opportunities are somewhat more limited than in major metropolitan areas.)

    Thanks so much for reading all this and for any help you can give! I hope it's ok for a newbie to go on at such great length, and if not I hope you'll accept my apologies.

    Best,
    Genome
  2. mlp1954

    mlp1954 New Member

    I do a lot of ebay, not enough to quit my job yet, wish I could, but if you need any help or advice, let me know I will be glad to help. I have been selling on eBay for over 7 years. Pattie
  3. texasmaia

    texasmaia New Member

    Of course you can write what you want and how much you want, we love to hear what you are interested in and the questions you have.

    I don't have any answers for you on what you did inquire about, however, just a little sidenote....My stepmother has a very lucrative business in her home doing word processing and editing. She has bad knees and no longer wanted to work in the corporate world so retired. She has been doing this about 15 years or so and really enjoys it.

    She has several authors she works with among other regular clients.

    Good luck with your interests and keep us informed on what you may find and do.

    Blessings,
    Maia
  4. eeyoreblue02

    eeyoreblue02 Member

    Check out guru.com

    Linda
  5. Genome

    Genome New Member

    Thanks Pattie, Maia and Linda for your responses to my posting--I appreciate it!

    Pattie, I would love to hear about your experience selling on Ebay. I'm tempted but have a few concerns about trying it, one being that I remember when my husband used to sell a little of this or that on Ebay, he was always having to run to the post office or to the drugstore for packaging material. I worry that having to locate, post, sell and then actually mail dozens of different things would increase my constant feeling of being overwhelmed. I also frequently find myself in pain from spending too much time on the computer, and I worry that if I spend too much time on Ebay I'll impinge on my ability to use the computer for things that bring me joy, like writing or playing with digital photos.

    Linda, thanks for the tip about guru.com. This is one of a number of such sites I've run across and, not knowing where to focus, bookmarked for later. Your post prompted me to actually register as a free user and see where it got me. I found only 1 job in my area that I was able to view without paying, so I went to the forums at absolutewrite.com to see what folks there had to say about this and other bidding sites. The general consensus was that bids are typically won by those writers/editors charging "ridiculously" low rates, which may drive down rates for other professionals. I can see how, as at least one user had found, bidding on such sites might be useful for a while in gaining experience and building a portfolio, and I may give it a try. I don't think I'm ready yet to pay to view the jobs (though I may be after a few more weeks of unemployment!), because based on feedback I've gotten from a few other freelancers I'm ultimately pessimistic about landing work through this avenue. Also, I get the impression I could spend a great part of every day rooting through these ads for jobs to bid on, and end up in awful computer-induced pain with little or no tangible results.

    I guess I'm a pessimistic worrier, though I'm trying to be optimistic! Obviously some folks like Maia's stepmother are making freelancing work for them--I just have to figure out how to do it! I think the key may be, one way or another, to find a few clients locally and try to build from there.

    Maia, thanks, by the way, for your encouraging and supportive words. It's nice to meet such friendly strangers!

    Genome