Photo: Austin Distel
Freelance writing is the dream, isn’t it?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably fantasised about combining your wordsmithery with the nomad lifestyle. What an image that’d be, occasionally taking your eyes off the mountainous horizon of Costa Rica to reply to a work e-mail, one that’d celebrate your great work and promise your payment before the day’s end.
Photo: Lucas Favre
“So I’ll need you to do a travel assignment for like a coupla weeks,” an ex-friend said.
“Well you came to the right guy.”
“I’ll need sixty articles total.”
“That’s, a lot.”
“You’ll need to write two articles a day, about five hundred words each…”
“I guess I can manage.”
“… while on the road, for like eight hours a day.”
“Expenses aren’t covered.”
“Food’s pretty cheap in Myanmar,” Jess said. “So what’s your price?”
I did a quick calculation and quoted the average market rate for 30,000 words.
“We can’t pay you that much.”
So you want to be a writer in Malaysia
Yep. I’m as bored with listicles as you. Photo: Joshua Rawson-Harris
Great. Another top-ten things article. Here’s a stick. See that dead horse? Go ahead. Have a go.
Despite the cliché, there’s a reason for all this trite. If you’ve ever asked me what it takes to be a writer in Malaysia, what courses make the best gig magnets, or what laptops produce the best word diarrhoea, then this piece is for you.
Photo credit: Keith Page
The other day, I attended a writer’s briefing for an online news site. “People’s attention spans are getting shorter,” the editor said. “You need to constantly provide them with links and pictures so as not to lose them.”