NaNoWriMo Day Nine…and Ten

Day nine (and ten…who am I kidding?) is upon us, and I’m trying desperately to recapture my word count. For those who have been following me, a certain creative kitty of mine decided that she, too, wanted to take part in National Novel Writing Month. Treading demurely over the keyboard and finally resting her turkey-leg sized haunches on the [ key, my progress was decimated.

I spent yesterday and my free time earlier today trying to catch up. I’m almost getting there. Never let it be said that I give up easily.

I don’t have much to contribute on the NaNo front, but I do have a few links to share with fellow writers and editors.

Editors: have you been looking for a way to connect with new clients? Writers: are you looking for a trustworthy and easy to navigate listing system to help you find the right person to work with you on your project? There’s a new game in town, and its free to try now. Called WriteBeta, a colleague of mine passed this around in a forum for guild members.

The purpose of WriteBeta is to connect writers with editors. The site was founded by Dori Jones Yang and her daughter Emily, both from Seattle, who both have a passion for writing and a deep appreciation of editing.

My goal is to connect editors with people who need help with short-form writing such as emails, essays, website copy, etc. When the site is fully functional, it will offer you a way to connect with potential paying clients
and also provide a community-driven ranking system that would become recognized credential for editors.

Editors interested in getting a headstart can edit documents for free now, and by doing so will earn a score that will earn them a visible rank or rating. Some of the things that editors are graded on, according to information provided by the site’s developer, will be:

. Making edits that get accepted by the writer of the document
. Having other editors “agree” with their edits
. Agreeing or disagreeing with other’s edits, and whether or not the writer
take their advice

The founders hope that this community-driven editing process will provide new and emerging editors a chance to gain experience and build credibility. Editors will also be able to be hired directly through their profiles, which are searchable in the editor directory.

For authors who are eager to hear first thoughts on their NaNo pieces, this might be a good opportunity to send a few chapters and see how other editors work with your material. This has the potential to have great potential for NaNoWriMo’ers.

For writers who are interested in learning more about how to connect with editors (and vice versa), some common sites to connect with editing professionals include:

Fiverr, where every job starts at just $5 a pop! There’s an app and it’s all pretty cool looking. I haven’t tried it, but I signed up once…so there’s that.

Elance, where writers, editors, and designers can hire and be hired. This is based on bidding,

Freelancer, which is more or less the same as Elance. You post a project, you accept bids, and then you hire your favorite contractor. Less fun if you’re the contractor.

Odesk is similar to Freelancer and Elance. Pick your favorite based on their portfolio, credentials, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Guru, which I’ve only recently heard of, sounds not unlike these previously mentioned services. You get the idea:  people hang up their shingle and you take your pick.

If you’re just getting started, this could be a really good way to connect with other clients. The problem that sites like this create, unfortunately, is that they lower the bar for payment all across the board. Why would anyone want to pay me my $30/hour fee, for example, when they can get it done for .20 cents a word at Elance?

The answer is:  they wouldn’t. The type of people you meet on these sites are looking for something for nothing. If you’re comfortable with this, than the experience can still be rewarding. Know that, even if you’re starting out, English is your second language, and you have no other projects under your belt (but you do have a background in writing or editing…I guess I should be clear, here), you are definitely worth more than five measly cents a word.

Remember this, fledgling professionals:

The average panhandler earns an estimated $300 or more dollars a month, according to all of the reading I’ve done that explains there is actually no conclusive evidence on how much panhandlers can earn, making that number completely useless in essence. The average sign, you figure, has no more than 20 words. And that, my friends, is a minimum of five cents a word. (300 dollars divided by 30 days, divided, then, by 20 words, is .05. So there.)

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