This, That and The Other Thing: Freelance Edition

You know what’s cool? When they pay you to rant about stuff that you’d probably rant about anyway. At least, that’s what I get to do over at one of my shopping blogs. As long as I can segue over to a coupon at the end, it’s all good. Over there today, I tell the story of what happened last night when Middle Sister was getting ready for her friend’s birthday party.

You know what’s not cool? Learning a real-life lesson about intellectual property…the hard way. I was hired to write some articles for websites that focus on building a personal brand and developing an “online portfolio.” I was asked to provide a biography and a photo. About two weeks after completing those articles, more were requested. I visited the websites to get an idea of other content on the topics I was assigned, and I found one of my articles from the first batch, attributed to someone else who (according to the person who hired me) is a fictional persona. Let it be known that in the future I will be a lot more protective of the copyright on any of my writing, because clearly I cannot claim authorship of those articles for my own online portfolio. Notice the irony there?

That led to a whole big dilemma for me last weekend, culminating in my decision not to do any more work for that group of websites. I was very afraid that I would burn a bridge, because I do have a very good working relationship with the person who hired me to do that and several other projects. Fortunately she was understanding (and as surprised as I was about what happened) and she asked me if I’d like to continue working on future projects with her (yay!)

It was a tough couple of days, but my husband and kids stood behind me and encouraged me not to work for someone who would put a different person’s name on my articles even if it meant a loss of business. And once I sent out that email explaining why I would not do more work for that website group, I felt so good. I knew I had made the right decision and was so happy to learn that I have not burned a bridge when it comes to other projects.

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Monday’s 2-fer

I volunteer in the school library for 2 hours every Monday, and then today I have a 30-minute break before I have to be at my tutoring job for 2 hours. None of this is physically strenuous, but 2 hours with first- and second-graders, and then 2 hours working with 2 learning-disabled high school students in a foreign language, makes my brain pretty fried by the time I am done!

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy my volunteer work and my tutoring job. The little kids at school are a lot of fun. Sometimes I get to be the Story Lady and read to them. Other times I help them find books, and I always check their books out for them. And there’s the usual Quieting Them Down, and Separating Two Boys Who Are THISCLOSE To Hitting Each Other, and Telling Them For The Gazillionth Time Where The Bookmarks Are. Then I’ll move on to my students’ house. They don’t do a lot of study (who am I kidding–they don’t do any study) in between sessions. And with two students, it’s twice the chance that they’ll want to spend more time giggling over the dorky pictures in their textbook, and making up sentences like “[Name of boy they both know] es feo.” So whose bright idea was it to stack up both of those things in one day?

Oh yeah. That was me. Next time I think this is a good idea, smack me in the head, OK?