Writing for Dollars


Senior Member
Whow, this is bad.

For those who are not poetry wangs, this is like not remembering the name of some really well known sports team like the Denver Dolphins or something... it's bad, very bad, very basic... For those who are not poetry or sports fans, it's like not remember which cities have real housewives... I know that one: New York, Orange County, uhm, Atlanta and Joisy. Hmmm, this isn't making me feel better; I haven't even seen Atlanta or Joisy. Oh no, I think I can remember all of the first names of the housewives from NY and OC!

Unplug me!
Wallace Stevens darling...

But he did not quite put it like that LOL. :D
Or come to think of it maybe you mean William Carlos WIlliams a doctor by day--then again, he didn't quite put it like that either....

Okay I report my experience with a salmon fish head.
It is a little bit more work than lentils, but you are going to LOVE it as a delicacy.
Do you have a crockpot?
Anyway it was cleaned for me and halved and I dumped it in some water with a bit of onion and celery to see if I wanted stock. It cooked itself in a few hours. I decided I didn't want the stock--all the fishiness went into the stock.
I must say, that I found myself fascinated by the halved head and the glassy eye and the curve of the mouth. Others may not be so fascinated but I felt more in touch with the natural world than when I get my filet of fish that doesn't resemble fish at all--

What was left--I simply separated out carefully with a spoon. You will have to swagger to your couch to do that because it requires being vertical for about ten minutes as you want to get all the bits of meat. I must tell you it is the most delicate succulent "meat' I ever tasted. One head does not a meal make so you could stretch it with rice and veggies and have this as a delicious appetizer/side dish. Just squeeze some fresh lime on it. If you had tabasco (I didn't at the moment) that would be interesting too.

You will love it and I imagine it must have tons of Omega 3's. For $2 you could do this once a week and really get some good nutrition. Also, it appeals to me ethically but in a different way. I think the idea of "not killing my food" is a false one...and the line drawn between what is allowed to be eaten and not also kind of false since everything is alive at some point (you're not eating rock or dirt)...but anyway. I do think we as a society (including me) are very wasteful. (I read yesterday that Americans throw out 15% of their food. That's a heckuva lot of food. And I'm one of them but hopefully no longer.) We should eat the entire fish. Including the head. I probably should have saved the stock. That's a way to be respectful to the world. Besides it's healthier. When I get my Amish meat I try to get organs--hearts, livers, tongue. They are all tasty and they also have different qualities/nutrition than "muscle" which is mostly what we humans like to eat.

I don't know how the other fish heads taste and whether they are as succulent.


Senior Member
William Carlos Williams!!!! That's who it is!!! So much for "don't tell me" but, frankly, I was losing my mind. William Carlos Williams. Ahhh, that's better. I remember the poem, just not the poet.

So much depends
upon a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater
beside the white chickens

And, yes, I moved 'upon' but that was the least of my liberties!

I love your description of the fish. I was really struck by your description of the eye and the curve. I don't have a crockpot but I bet I could freecycle one. How are they on electricity? I must find a source of severed heads. There is an organic butcher a block from where I live and I will see if they have fish.

I completely agree with your take on the ethics of eating fish heads. In fact, that was why they appeal so much to me, too. The head does not fuel fish farming or trawling or any part of the industry. On the rare occasion that I eat chicken, I eat a canned flaked chicken - we all know they aren't flaking a nice breast or thigh.

Eating vegetarian staples are problematic, too. Rainforest is cut down to plant crops consumed both by the beef industry and vegetarians who think they are eating in a more ethical fashion. There was a great piece in Harper's, "The Oil We Eat", which I think you can still find online. It comes to a rather startling conclusion regarding the difficulties inherent in attemptine to eating ethically.

I will get me some fish heads!

My mind just went offline. I think it was the William Carlos Williams fiasco. Why I was so sure it was two initials, I don't know.

I need a cold compress.

Thanks for all the fish!

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915 link to: The Oil We Eat
Northern IL
High paying blogging contest/opportunity

I got this invite in my email, so I thought I'd pass it along because I know that some of you are already blogging or have writing experience. Please let us know if you sign up so we can Vote for you!

I hope this helps someone....


The Job: For six months, youll be responsible for writing a daily blog article about your good mood and all the things in your life that bring a smile to your face. This job is the perfect opportunity to express yourself to the world and tell everyone why being in a good mood is important to a good well-being. Even better, youll be helping others find their own good moods, too. Well help you get started, but once youre going, you wont want to stop. Sounds too good to be true, right? (Wait, it gets better.)

A job wouldnt be a job unless you are paid to do it. If youre our new good mood blogger, youll get a freelance gig with Ignite Social Media, writing for Nature Made SAM-e Complete. For your efforts, youll be compensated with:

$5,000 a month for six months.
a brand new laptop so you can work from virtually anywhere.
How to Apply: Just fill out the form to get started, then tell everyone you know to vote for you! Like any job, youve got a better chance if you do your homework before applying. Be sure to read the Terms & Conditions, then check out the FAQs for more details on the job requirements and more.


Senior Member
Melbourne, Australia

This a a general email to nearly every one of you (who I read nearly every day now) on the matter of finances & work.........

So many of you have amazing talents in writing. You have differences in style & humour, but you all have something to say.

Be bold. Be adventurous.

Do something you may have never done before.

Write down a list of things that you feel strongly about - subjects that represent your innermost passions or your outer most observations in life. It might be faith/beliefs, environmental issues, health, fiction, fantasy, dreams, community welfare, nature, adventure, CFS, whales, squirrels, whatever you feel deeply about, & just write something.

Write as though it was the only communication tool left to you & practice every day you can summon the strength. If you don't already, keep a diary (weekly if you can't manage daily). Write about anything. The beauty of Spring, the freshness of new life unfurling it leaves, the birds in the sky, whatever.

And then send your writing in every direction available & I'm sure that somewhere, some day, some one will want to hear more (& hopefully even offer you money for your words).

You just need to start with baby steps, so you won't crash & burn the next day. Do what you can, when you can, it doesn't need to be a novel in 12 months. Or an article every day.

Some of you have the gift of few words with real depth & meaning. Some of you are poetry in action. Some of you have the gift of painting great masterpieces with simple strokes of the pen (or computer keys should I say). And some of you write in technicolour. Some write in black & white.
And some write great life stories.

But you all have something to say and I really enjoy reading your words, so speak to a wider audience. I am only one, but there are millions of readers on the internet, there has to be one or two more who will enjoy your writing.



Senior Member
Gold Coast Australia
You to write exceptionally well. I have been told I am a didactic writer, I cant write floury stuff and I would love to....I am too stiff. However I love writing about social issues.....my background being sociology.....I am an observer of societys and its "doings".

So I write to newspapers and radio stations...(Radio National here in OZ) and I always get my stuff published......I seem to be an ideas person, like writing about psychological issues It gives me a buzz to be acknowledged when I cant engage with the wider community. This makes me feel like I am not totally dead, that there is still a bit of grey matter left.

I wish I could write for pleasure, and get lost in the dream of fantasy and unreality.



Senior Member
Melbourne, Australia
So I write to newspapers and radio stations...(Radio National here in OZ) and I always get my stuff published......I seem to be an ideas person, like writing about psychological issues It gives me a buzz to be acknowledged when I cant engage with the wider community. This makes me feel like I am not totally dead, that there is still a bit of grey matter left.

I wish I could write for pleasure, and get lost in the dream of fantasy and unreality.
Hi Susan,

If you can write for newspapers, you can write for pleasure. How about writing those fantasies down?
If you always get your stuff published - congratulations. How exciting that must be to see your words in the media. I admit to being a wee bit envious.

Keep it up, Susan.



Senior Member
Very interesting.

It's a good opportunity for someone who is able to work quite hard in a sustained manner.

Realistically, it pays > 50c per word before taxes. ($5000 / 30 days @ 300 words per day - each blog is 166.66) My math could be a bit off but that's pretty close.

You could submit fewer words but they suggest between 250 and 500 so I'm figuring they would complain if you coasted along at the 250 mark every day. I figured for 300/350 as an average which may be acceptable.

For a healthy writer it's a great gig. The per item rate is not high but they make up for that in steady work. For an unhealthy writer it's a bit trickier as you are contractually bound to produce work every day, on topics of their choosing and/or which meet their approval, for six consecutive months.

If one could write a few at a go and bank them, that would be a very different proposition. I'm not sure if one can. They also caution that you have to work closely with them and their editors. I would think one would need to work the sam-e agenda which makes sense.

As an exercise in positive thinking, it's great. To write about happiness every single day could really lift one's spirits.

On the other hand, I used to write radio campaigns every years (12 spots) which asked people to think about their drinking habits. Drove me to drink -- well, drove me to want to drink!

I bet the competition from healthies will be pretty stiff because few writers are assured this kind of steady gig for 6 months. A solid journeyman writer could knock these out pretty quickly no matter the demands of the employer.

I just thought I'd break it down for everyone because I can't look at a situation like this without automatically doing the breakdown. :)

Anyway, I'm not up to it.



ETA They are looking for the following qualities in the writer:

• Writing experience
• A solid working knowledge of the Internet and social media
• Positive attitude and strong work ethic
• Organized
• Self-starter
• Efficient and responsible


Frida For All
Seattle, WA
Poems and Fish

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung like strips
like ancient wall-paper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wall-paper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
-the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly -
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
-It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
-if you could call it a lip-
grim, wet and weapon-like,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels - until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.
-- Elizabeth Bishop
I've got a Pathways to Work appointment this afternoon. I was supposed to be looking into writing as a job, but haven't done as much as I should. I've got a few links to print out, but hopefully having just had a letter today telling me to contact the benefits people about a setting up a medical assessment appointment, that will be something else to talk about.

I thought I'd be fine getting up and running with a 'writing career', but it's stalled a bit already. It's encouraging to see that it can be done though, and I hope I can avoid being completely reliant on benefits in the future.

Finally going to have a proper search for sites that pay you to write, however little it may be to start with.
Are there any sites that should definitely be avoided?
sorry, realised there wasn't much point adding to that last post as it won't be seen as a new post.

So, erm, are there any sites that should definitely be avoided?


Senior Member

I will tell you what I've learned in the last 6 months. I'm not all that experience yet but here's what I've seen so far.

There are copywriting sites, that look for anywhere from 200 - 500 words, and that pay one or two cents a word. Not great sites, and not great pay but a couple of these earned me $200 over a few months, and that is $200 I wouldn't have had otherwise.

They don't look for great ability, their articles are sort of filler from what I can see, for websites. They'll ask you to ... rewrite other people's articles, so they can use your stuff without it being actual plagiarism. This is all over the net. They don't require any kind of good porfolio of past work, they just want people who can put a sentence together.

Drawback besides low pay, is that if you ARE trying to compile a portfolio these types of articles really don't do you any good. But they can help get a little cash.

Also, payment may be some time down the road, once they've gotten the ok from their client, and re-writes may be required.

Something else that comes to mind, that I think you might want to avoid, is the sites that pay you according to the number of hits or reads your articles bring. Problem is most of us don't have great networking for our writing, and so the number of hits for the amount they pay is often very small, $5 an article maybe? Unless you have great promotional skills. And, there is no guarantee of payment, if you don't get alot of hits. Even the copywriters give more dependability of pay than that.

That's all I can think of at the moment, if I think of more pros and cons, I will come back to this thread.