Not Tonight, Crazy Client…I Have a Headache

Warning: What follows is basically a personal rant about a particular client. I’ve chosen to share it here because I think many of you will identify all too well. This blog is supposed to be funny, though, so please feel totally free to laugh at me for being such a door mat. Have you ever noticed how the absolutely bat-spit crazy clients seem to come out of the woodwork just when you need it the least? These are the folks who don’t actually know what they want until you happen to hit the magic combination and they say, “Yes! That’s [Read more…]

Sassy Gay Friend Hits Two Literary Genres with One Peach Scarf

Way back in March, I posted a couple of videos from Second City that featured the Sassy Gay Friend.  In them he talked the women of Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello out of doing whatever particularly stupid thing they were about to do in the name of love.  (A lot of suicide, now that I think about it.)  Anyway, the Sassy Gay Friend is back, and this time he’s taking on a non-human lady who needs to take a different perspective on her relationship. Check out The Sassy Gay Friend and The Giving Tree, with BONUS literary allusion to [Read more…]

Plagiarizing about Plagiarism

Oh.  My.  Gosh. So, I think I mentioned that I’ve been doing articles on a lot of crazy topics lately.  One of them was plagiarism.  As I was looking around the web, I found this:  Want to Buy an Essay about Plagiarism? Seriously.  It’s a web site where you can buy essays to turn in to your teacher and pass off as your own.  And you can buy essays about why plagiarism is wrong.  The absolutely, totally, 100% best part?  They’re horribly written.  Like, you’d pay your money and still flunk your essay for not being able to write.  Here’s [Read more…]

Literary Symbolism

I’ve been working on this interesting project lately where I had to write researched articles on a ton of very random subjects. One of them happened to be literary symbolism. During my travels around the Internet, I came across this really cool quiz called “The American Novel” on  You get to match the symbolism with the book.  Never one to miss out on a chance to be all word-nerdy (you may recall that I’ve linked you to quizzes before), I was tickled pink and immediately thought of you.   There are also some pretty nice graphics.  Have fun! The [Read more…]

Freelance Life vs. Real Life

I think it’s kind of funny how we tend to refer to our life outside of work as our “real life.” Like the job we do doesn’t have any consequences on the things we do away from the office/factory/sweatshop. “Yeah, I’m a builder, but in my real life, I like to go out on the boat with my family.” Why does real life only happen on the weekends and for one or two unpaid weeks a year? I feel like my freelance life really is a part of my real life. The choices I make in one absolutely affect the [Read more…]

Found a New Blog…Oh, Dear

So, I just accidentally found a new blog that I think you all are going to like.  I’m a little loathe to send you over there, because I think that Kiersten White is approximately five thousand times funnier than I am.  But I’m a generous soul.  And I can’t keep a secret.  (That’s totally not true, by the way.  I’m a great secret-keeper.)  See, I told you she was funnier.  I can’t even fake my own shortcomings for a joke. Anyway, you should check out Kiersten Writes.  I was going to tell you to start with this post detailing the [Read more…]

What Is Outsourcing, and Does It Embarrass You?

I remember when we first started our writing business (, we were dead-set against the idea of doing “outsourced” work. Somehow, it seemed less legit to us to do work that someone else went out and found. Like, we weren’t pulling our own weight or being professional enough or something. When we did accept our first outsourced gig, it was actually with a bit of embarrassment and shame. We definitely didn’t tell other writers that someone else was handing off their “overflow” work to us because we had so much free time on our schedules that we were desperate to [Read more…]

5 Things Freelance Writers Can Learn from the A-Team

As freelance writers, we can get inspiration and tips about how to conduct ourselves in business from just about anywhere. This list is a case in point. You might be stretching the point just a bit if you try to claim your admission and popcorn as a business expense by explaining to the Tax Man that watching the A-Team movie is a continuing education seminar, but here are some tips inspired by the Team that may help. 1. Creativity Counts As fans of the TV show have learned, sometimes (OK in every episode), the best laid plans don’t always work [Read more…]

Knock, Knock

Hey, do you know any good jokes for writers? I’ve been looking around, kind of trying to compile some good ones. So far, this is my favorite (found on so many sites that I don’t know who to credit): A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks. “Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in second. Everything is [Read more…]

Why Hast Thou Failed Me, Personal Sense of Responsibility?

I’ve been having a really hard time with motivation lately. I’d like to blame the weeks and weeks of dreary weather (seriously, this is EASTERN Washington, not Seattle), or the move to the new office (still nothing on the walls), or the bun in the oven (did I mention yet that it’s a girl?), but I don’t know that any of those things gets full blame. So, this week has been about avoiding procrastination and just getting things done. You know what’s a great/terrible way to procrastinate/not procrastinate? Write a poem about procrastinating for your blog. It’s kind of like [Read more…]

Test Your Word-Nerd Abilities

OK, I supposed “word-nerd” might apply more aptly to games that test your grammar skills. These quizzes, on the other hand, are all about literature. I cannot believe how many of them there are out there. I may never get any work done again. Perhaps we should set up some sort of competition amongst FWJ readers to see who knows the most about their favorite authors or books. Fun Trivia’s Literature Quizzes So far I’ve taken quizzes for Clan of the Cave Bear and A Handmaid’s Tale. I am officially cutting myself off for the day, because things could take [Read more…]

I'm Not the Only One Who Enjoys a Good English Quiz, Right?

So, I’m always on the lookout for fun stuff on the Internet that will be of particular interest to writers.  I don’t know how I’ve missed this one, so far.  First of all, I had no idea you could be interactive with YouTube videos.  Secondly, I’ve seen other stuff featuring this guy but didn’t realize he had this Truth or Fail thing.  I’m tempted to take it again so I can hear the responses to the opposite answers. I only got 3 out of 5 correct. How did you do?

I'm Spoiled and Whiney, In Case You Hadn't Noticed

I remember when I first started this freelance writing thing.  I was working from a rickety table that was literally about 12” x 18” that was wedged in between my television and the corner of my living room.  I feel comfortable describing the table as “rickety,” because I actually built it in Jr. High School woodshop *mumble mumble* years ago.  I was busy pounding out tedious product descriptions for something like a dollar a piece and hoping to someday make it to a full-time income. My next stab at freelancing included an actual desk, in the corner of a different [Read more…]

Ridiculous Freelance Writing Ad of the Week – Cheap Bastard Double Feature

Just in case you don’t want to take the time to read this ad, I’ll go ahead and paraphrase it for you: Hi, I’m cheap, can’t use spell check, and want you to embody the ethics I don’t have.  While I don’t have time to haggle for more than $2 an article, I have plenty of time to run your work through “every possible paid software there is.” Hi all, Please read the directiions carefully before applying and make sure you can meet all of them. – I need content for my sites, which should be around 500 words or [Read more…]

Typos of Doom

I’ll admit that I judge people by they way they write.  I try not to, but it’s really hard for some reason.  I make assumptions about people based on spelling and punctuation.  I cringe when I read Facebook updates that misuse homonyms, use apostrophes to pluralize, or simply forgo punctuation altogether.  Of course, we all make typos from time to time.  I’m definitely guilty of it, and I am aware that I’m probably being judged, too. Typos may not seem like any big deal, but it turns out that there are some that have actually changed the world.  From an [Read more…]

Ridiculous Freelance Ad of the Week

I’m finding that when I post these insulting ads, I have less and less to say about them.  I mean, how many ways can you call someone a “cheapskate,” anyway?  That doesn’t mean that I don’t still find them infuriating, or in cases like this one, downright flabbergasting! “Definitons are needed for a new and upcoming tech website. 200+ definitions need to be typed an hour in order to truly earn pay. Computer and technical definitons are what is needed. These will go through review as well before approved. They must be your words and only 1 to 2 lines [Read more…]

Flame Away, Fancypants

I spend a fair amount of time on this blog making fun of so-called “employers” who think it’s totally reasonable to pay decent writers a pittance for their hard work.  I’ve heard every argument for why they can get away with this.  New writers need some way to get started, and these gigs get their foot in the door.  What seems like a ridiculously small amount of money to my bourgeoisie self may be a fortune to someone in another country.  Blah, blah, blah.  Today, I want to look at the other side of the equation, though.  I want to [Read more…]

Ridiculous Freelance Ad of the Week

It’s time to share the Ridiculous Freelance Ad of the Week.  Let me tell you, I came across some doozies.  In fact, I’ll have to save some of them for later, since I had to copy and paste them because they were too asinine to simply ignore altogether.  I won’t tell you specifically where I’m finding these, but let’s just say that there are probably more of these kinds of ads than decent ones there.  It’s a little frustrating when you’re looking for gigs, but it’s a goldmine when you like to point out potential employer stupidity on your blog. [Read more…]

Possibly the Worst Freelance Writing Job Ad of All Time

Here on the Other Stuff blog, I occasionally like to share with you some of the most ridiculous ads I find calling for freelance writers. Usually, these ads are poorly written, offer little to no money, or really don’t care about the quality of the work to be done. The following, however, hits the trifecta. I can say one thing for it, though. It’s hard to work up too much ire when the whole thing is only two lines long. Here is the description, in it’s entirety: “I am looking for freelance article writers who can write small articles of [Read more…]

I'm a Writer – I Can Rationalize Anything

As a freelance writer, do you ever find yourself breaking the rules of the working world?  I don’t mean that you necessarily do sub-par work, mind you, just that things get done a little differently than they would if you had a boss watching over your shoulder? For example, I just left a doctor’s appointment—one that I had scheduled during regular work hours.  When I headed back out to the car, it struck me that rather than picking up some fast-food fare and eating at my desk, I really wanted to go to this one particular restaurant.  These two events [Read more…]

Shakespeare Has a Gay Old Time

I write SEO articles. I compose “about” pages. I turn resumes into executive bios. I admit that I am no Shakespeare. That said, I love me some Shakespeare. I have a BA in Theatre Arts, and my dream was to play Ophelia, preferably with the Theatre Department’s heartthrob in the role of Hamlet. Because then he’d have to notice me, right? Of course, I found out years later that at least one of those heartthrobs was what they used to call a “confirmed bachelor.” Yep, the guy playing the most macho roles known to drama was, in fact, gay. The [Read more…]

Why I Don't Answer Ads for "Rewriters"

I know there’s a ton of controversy going on in the freelance writing community regarding what kinds of jobs and pay freelance writers should accept. To be honest, the main reason I know about it is because Deb’s been talking about it over on the main Freelance Writing Jobs blog. (See “Freelance Writing: The Great Divide.”) Personally, I don’t get too caught up in all the drama. I’m thankful to say that I’m actually too busy with my freelance writing gigs to worry too terribly much about what everyone else is up to. That said, there are certain freelance writing [Read more…]

These Analogies are Analogous to Analogies

As a writer, I can be a little snooty when it comes to choosing my words.  As a reader, however, I can be either elated or completely turned off by the way an author turns a phrase.  Some of my favorite authors are those who say things in such a surprising and unique way that it’s almost a revelation of what language can do.  Some of my favorites for this have included: Tim Robbins Christopher Moore Salman Rushdie Margaret Attwood On the other hand, I can’t stand it when an author tries to force the words to do something. I [Read more…]

Reality is Really Just Too Real

ETA:  I realized that the way this was worded made it sound like I have about 80 kids.  Really, it’s just the one (until September, anyway).  “Baby,” “toddler,” “little one,” etc. are all referring to her. I used to say that I absolutely detested reality TV.  I’d probably still be saying it, if I hadn’t recently made a list of the shows I actually watch and realized that the majority of them would fall into the genre I’ve long claimed to despise.  Project Runway, Top Chef, My Life on the D List, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, Intervention, [Read more…]

My Passive-Aggressive Plea to an Unnamed Client

Dear Client, Thank you so much for choosing to work with me. I’m pleased to hear that you are so ecstatically happy with the final results of our project. I agree that the work ended up being pretty damn good, and I hope that is reflected by the response you get from your upcoming presentation of it. That said, if we are going to work together again in the future, I think we may need to set some ground rules. I hope I’m not overstepping the bounds of the client-contractor relationship, as I certainly wouldn’t want you to feel like [Read more…]

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