Blogging for Dummies: A Guide to Those Who Can't Find Real Work
How not to blog...
There are many useful and informative articles on how to make money writing on-line. This is not one of them. The primary reason being is that I have never made a nickel off anything I wrote. I suspected a career for me writing would be a bust, going all the way back to elementary school. I quickly discovered in Mrs. Lynch's 3rd grade class that I had no ability to produce quality literary masterpieces despite many attempts to hastily complete homework assignments in the frantic ten remaining minutes before they were due. Not only had I failed to distinguish myself as a writer, it was getting increasingly harder to maintain my rapidly diminishing credibility. There are only so many times you can plead, "the dog ate my homework" before they begin to question your integrity. It would have been easier I suppose to pull off this chicanery had I actually had a dog but that's another story. I'd rather not admit I was less than promising academic so instead I will simply reflect on other reasons for my failed scholastic endeavors. My theory is that teachers aren't recruited for their teaching ability than their ability to intimidate underachievers like myself.
Makin' BIG $$$$
All was fine and I was content with my role in life until I read that article, "Ten Easy Steps To Make Loads of Money Writing On-line -Guaranteed!." Suddenly I realised, Why should I work when I could be a writer?!!
It seemed simple enough. My delusion goes something like this. I write something really witty & clever. People who have no clue who I am immediately rush out to read it & I get rave reviews. Then I get this lucrative contract to write & become famous. That's me at the book-signing table doing autographs for my fans. ...and then I wake up!
"Honey," she says. It's my wife. "Get up. The commodes clogged again and you need to go pooper-scoop the front yard."
"but I'm a writer..." Apparently I had fallen asleep at the computer again, while surfing the web. The imprint of the keyboard was still impressed on my face.
Of course you are, dear," patting me on the head and handing me the plunger. "Now hurry up or you'll be late for your shift at the 7-11."
Maybe now wasn't a good time to tell her I had quit my job so I could become a rich and famous successful writer?
The Henderson Method
By the end of the week, my trek to literary fame and profit was creeping along slowly. I suddenly realized this was an arduous and daunting process that could take days, maybe longer before I attain fame & wealth. I had reached an impasse and desperately need a plan to jump start my career; hence I devised and implemented a bold and brilliant initiative known hereafter as the Henderson Method. Let me illustrate;
- Increase name recognition among the public
- Solicit feedback from unbiased & neutral sources
- Establish a support network for esteem-building
- Recruit qualified professionals to refine your skills and accelerate your career
So how did it work out?
That's me. Standing on the street corner, looking desperate, disheveled, and maybe a little deranged. With my hair mussed up and collar pulled up around my neck; a guy walks up, looks at me with a condescending look of sympathy and drops a quarter in my coffee cup. I wasn't finsihed with my coffee yet but that's OK. "So what happened to you," he asks. "Drugs? Alcohol? Gambling?" "No," I stare ahead unblinking. "I'm a writer!" Suddenly Mr. Understanding scurries off like I had the Bubonic Plague.
Back to the 7-11
Later that morning, the next person comes along. "So what do you do," she asks. "I'm a writer," I reply proudly. "That's OK dear," she consoles. "Times are hard. Lots of people are out of work. No need to be ashamed."
So why am I out here in the cold on a street corner pursuing innocent pedestrians? I have this continuing delusion about being a writer and making lots of money but most people don't want to read anything I wrote. So I'm going for instant name recognition even if I have to get it the old fashioned way: Making a fool of myself in public.
That's why I roam the parks & parking lots and peruse the malls searching for my next victim. I spot one. He sees me coming toward him, puts his head down low and accelerates. "Excuse me... Sir! Excuse me... would you mind..." "No," he interrupts brusquely. "I don't want to read your articles!" Apparently my reputation precedes me.
How can you tell if you really suck ...or not? That can be a dilemma. Need an esteem-builder? Or maybe an honest critique. Hint No. 1. Don't ask your wife, she already knows you suck and is still mad at you for something you did ten years ago. So who do you ask to read your material? Writers and editors? That's why they have unlisted phone numbers and have barricaded themselves into obscurity just for people like you and I.
I quickly discovered in the real world, no one wants to read something you wrote. Eventually I find a sucker... as he reads, he starts to cry. "This is incredible," he gushes. "You are a gifted writer. This is the most moving, the saddest thing I have ever read."
"It is?!! Let me see that," snatching the paper out of his hand! "Oops! That's my speeding ticket," I grinned sheepishly.
I suppose I could ask for my old job at the 7-11 back?
The padded cell next door
I imagine years later they will find me crouched over a laptop that doesn't work staring at a blank screen and typing away furiously while I laugh hysterically at my own material. Crumpled wads of paper lay all over the floor ...in my padded cell.
All those online articles on how to write and make $$ while working at home with really pretentious and misleading titles like, "Ten Great Ways to Write and Make $$ Online"; my theory is they're all written by the same person. That person will probably be in the padded cell next to mine. I think I hear her typing furiously and laughing hysterically.
jimagain: Periodically lowering the bar of literary expectations!
© 2011 Jim Henderson