Ready for Work for Hire?


Over the years, people have stated to me that they want to do certain types of editorial work. These statements usually occur after the person hears of a project I’m working on—copy editing; line editing; developmental editing; indexing; ghostwriting; devotional writing; fiction writing; nonfiction picture book writing; curriculum—whatever.

Wanting to do something and being ready to do it are two completely different things.

What does that mean? you might ask. If I want to do something, that means I’m ready to do it.

Not necessarily, if you don’t fully know what you’re getting yourself into. Forewarned is forearmed as they say.

Work for hire, being hired to perform a specific task, has certain demands. Since work for hire is a broad topic, I’ll narrow it to writing. Many publishers hire freelancers to write series they have developed, curriculum projects, etc. You’ve seen many of these online and at stores like Walmart and Target. For many of these projects, you either have to know an editor who is hiring or have an agent who can get you in. But sometimes publishers cast a wide net and advertise that they are looking for writers.

So you want to be a freelancer? Ready to stick your oars into the waters of work for hire? Here’s a quiz to test that readiness.

• When it comes to writing, I like to have total say over whatever I write. True False
• If I have written something, when the final product comes out, I want to see pretty much what I’ve written—nothing (or not much) altered. True False
• I see deadlines as guidelines, rather than hard-and-fast rules. For example, if the deadline is Monday, I have met the deadline if I get the work to the editor by 9 p.m. True False
• If I have written anything, I want to receive a royalty for it. True False
• I cannot write for someone else’s vision. True False

If you answered True to most of the above, work for hire might not be the direction to steer your boat toward. Usually, a flat rate is offered for the work. This is not a royalty contract (for which a certain amount in advance is given). Once paid, that’s all you get, even if what you’ve written sells hundreds of thousands of copies. Also, since you are not the copyright holder, whoever holds the copyright has the right to make whatever changes are deemed necessary.

On some occasions I looked at the finished product and barely recognized a single word I wrote.

Welcome to the world of work for hire. Still, I have worked on many fun projects. Since all of them were done under my given name (L. Marie being a pen name) or someone else’s name (in regard to ghostwriting), don’t expect a list of them here.

As for why I brought up the deadline issue, many editors are sticklers about the deadline, which means handing over the manuscript during the workday (not after five p.m.). Some editors are a little more lenient, especially if you have an excuse for being late (illness, family emergency, etc.).

So that’s just a small taste of the work-for-hire life. I didn’t get into the tax aspect, because that’s a whole ’nother ballgame.

Now Hiring from shareicon.net. Royalty image from somewhere on Pinterest.

Butterflies

I don’t know about you, but on a sunny day at this time of year, I think about butterflies, even if this is not the season for them. Sure, it would be lovely to see a Monarch butterfly, which are common in my area in late summer.

But I can’t help wondering about butterflies that are a little more unusual, like

The glass-winged butterfly. This wonder can be found in Panama, Mexico, and Colombia.

The dead leaf butterfly, aka Kalima inachus, which can be found in Vietnam, India, Japan, and Thailand. This butterfly should sign up to join a surveillance organization immediately.

Photo: Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand. 380m a.s.l.

88 butterfly aka Diaethria anna and Anna’s eighty-eight, which can be found in Central and South America and sometimes in Texas

Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, which was named after Alexandra of Denmark). It can be found in Papua New Guinea. I’m sure you’ve heard that this is the world’s largest butterfly, with some having a one-foot wingspan. I have this one on my island in Animal Crossing.

Zebra Longwing, which can be found in Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies

I also think of butterflies because of the idiom, butterflies in my stomach. Why do I think of this? I am auditioning for freelance writing. I usually get butterflies with an impending deadline, especially if there is no guarantee that I will get the gig. But I have to turn in a sample chapter this coming Monday.

Do you have a favorite butterfly? Please comment below and tell me. (I am partial to the Monarch, Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, and the glass-winged butterfly.) And Charles, get ready to see the light with your alpaca lights! (Click here for the post on that giveaway.)

Monarch butterfly from Wikipedia. Glass-winged butterfly photo from allpicts.in. Dead leaf butterfly from bugsaliveblogspot. Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterfly photo from sakepedia.blogspot. Zebra longwing from Wikimedia. Alpaca lights from Amazon.

So Yeah, Eight Years

Technically my eighth anniversary happened toward the end of February. But last week I was researching for a picture book and writing a short story, and time got away from me. The following occurrences didn’t help:
• My computer went crazy. (It’s old and cranky like me and probably needs replacing, because the keypad is difficult to manage now.)
• Someone hacked my Messenger account and started requesting money from people.
• Microsoft Word crashed and needed to be replaced.

What did help was a care package from Laura!

The mug rug as she described the following seems too pretty to set a mug on, especially the way I have been known to overfill mugs and spill liquid on surfaces. But I love it nevertheless.

There’s something about hot chocolate with cinnamon that makes me want to break out the castanets and shout Viva! I don’t own castanets, but I shouted, “Viva!” anyway. Hope the neighbors appreciated it.

And there’s something about a blog anniversary that makes me want to give stuff away. What better thing to give away than the gift of light?

“Okay, that’s totally random,” I hear you thinking. Yes. I can hear your thoughts. It’s a gift. Anyway, as the dark of winter slow eases its grip to make way for spring, some of us in colder climates need a little somethin’ somethin’ to help us in the gap. Even if you live in a warmer place, a little bit of light is still welcome, isn’t it? So, you choose . . .

alpacas,

sunflowers (for some reason, I couldn’t copy the image from Amazon, so please click on the link in sunflowers to see the lights),

or eufy by Anker, Lumi Stick-On Night Light (same deal as with the sunflowers).

Or if none of the above grabs you, let me know in the comments, and if your name is chosen, you can pick one you like from Amazon or Amazon UK and I’ll have it sent to you.

“But why light?” you ask. “And what does that have to do with your blogoversary?” Well, to answer your questions, I can’t help thinking of something Galadriel said in The Fellowship of the Ring.

She held up a small crystal phial: it glittered as she moved it, and rays of white light sprang from her hand. “In this phial,” she said, “is caught the light of Eärendil’s star, set amid the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” (423)

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book (though the image below is from the movie adaptation), because I know what light meant to the hobbits. They were often frightened and desperate. (And who hasn’t been in this pandemic? Light was s life saver.)

Light is a symbol for hope and revelation. Light pierces through darkness.

So that’s why.

Listen, I don’t have anything profound to say. I wish I did. Anniversary posts have a tendency to make you want to get your Winston Churchill on and impress the masses with a stirring speech. But for some reason, I wanted to come to you just as I am—no big speech, no clever rhetoric. Just the opportunity to bring a little light into your world.

So with this anniversary, I wish you light.

P.S. Comment below to choose which set of lights you prefer. Winner to be announced sometime next week.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring. New York: Random House, 1954. 423.

Product photo found at Amazon. Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins photo from namelessone.co. Other photos by L. Marie.