15 October 2014

Writing Wednesday: End of an Era

Okay, maybe "end of an era" is a tad hyperbolic, but it kind of feels like it. As some of you may know, I've been a freelance writer for many years, and my main gig, the one I could always count on, was writing for About.com. Over the years, the pay has ranged from pretty good to pretty bad, depending on the contract (there were quite a few different ones, using different ways to calculate monthly compensation) and how much web traffic I was able to generate for my articles and reviews. But I always got something for my work.

I started writing for About way back in ... er ... 2001, I think. I took on the Creative Writing for Teens site, and did a lot of work I'm really proud of (some of which I hope to edit and re-use at some point in the not-too-distant future). In 2005 the PlayStation Portable site became available, and since I was feeling a little burned out writing about writing, and had been reviewing games part time anyway, I applied. It was a brand new site, and I built it from scratch. It was fun. But if you play videogames, you know the PSP was never the success Sony had hoped, and it wasn't too long before people just weren't reading about it -- or its follow up, the PS Vita -- any more. Lucky for me, the Young Adult Books site was created in 2012, right when I was feeling most discouraged about the future of the PSP site. I applied, and got it, and once again, I built the site from nothing.

It's been tremendous fun reading, reviewing, and writing about YA books. But my contract comes up for renewal at the end of this month. About has a new (ish) owner, and I knew the contract was going to change. I expected I'd be making less money until -- one hoped -- I could build more traffic. I didn't expect my contract to not be renewed at all.

But, hey, "expect the unexpected" and all that. I'm writing for About YA Books until October 31, and then that's it. I could speculate about why my contract isn't being renewed, but I won't. About.com was good to me for 13 years or so. I'll probably apply to write for another one of their sites, though I don't expect to get the job. But you never know. I may not have a huge socila media presence (yet), but I can sling words.

In the meantime, if anyone is looking for a writer -- I know lots about books, writing, assorted forms of art, comics, videogames, nature, and all sorts of miscellanous stuff -- let me know. I'm going to need the work.

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