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this is how i know my friends are smarter than i am

a little while back, i got an encouraging-sounding email from a client i did some writing for a couple of years back, asking if i'd be interested in doing some more work for them, along the same lines, but with a broader range of subjects to work from. it sounded pretty good, up until the point about how there wasn't the budget to be able to pay me this time.

among other things, the email got sort of swept up in the inferno of unbacked-up os reinstallation i went through and so i was never able to respond, but the fact is it sat like a moist blob of leftover food on the humid plate of my inbox for a few days before the great catastrophe, i just hadn't figured out what i wanted to say in response.

i mean, it seemed sort of ridiculous to offer to do something for free that i'd previously done for pay, and it didn't exactly bolster my self-esteem to think that my work was so incredible they thought i should do it for nothing. on the other hand, i do kind of like the idea that a google search of "kate macdonald writer" or "kate macdonald author" might turn up something related to me. and, in fact, i was still weighing the pros and cons in my mind and wondering if i could track down the email once i did figure out what i wanted to say, which would probably end up being longer than any of the pieces they were asking me to write in the first place.

and then martin posted this on my facebook wall.

now, martin didn't know about the existential hell i'd been going through vis-a-vis this email, he just figured it was something i should read. probably because he knows i am one of those writers described in the article who's a bit of a wuss and can be lead to believe that having something published is about the best i can expect in the cutthroat competitive world of writing. or possibly he just thought it was good advice for writers in general. but he wouldn't have been wrong about the wuss bit.

i don't agree with the black and white vision of the article. there are people and organisations i genuinely want to help regardless of whether or not they can afford it and those people generally help me if and when they can. and sometimes you do want to do something because it would be fun or challenging in a way that was its own form of compensation. but there is a clear logical disconnect in thinking that doing something for free for a profit-driven company will encourage them to start paying you for the same work. no matter how down on myself i felt, i would be leery of any employer who suggested i do a full-time job as a volunteer for a few months in the hopes that they would eventually decide that my work was worth paying for.

however obvious it is, though, i hadn't managed to notice it in the days of mental hand-wringing [brain-wringing?] i'd engaged in. lucky i have friends to occasionally point out the cliffs i'm about to stroll off while i'm exercising that big brain.

besides, why should i jump at the opportunity to write on a fairly broad range of topics in a way that i enjoy for no money? isn't that what i have this place for???


Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…