Once I was paid $700 to write about fire ants

And they say the freelancing life isn't glamorous.

Freelancing is the most glamorous life.

Not only do you get to type words like glamorous when describing your own work, you also get to hit command+T to open a new tab and quickly double-check that you spelled it correctly.❋

Sometimes I even put on mascara.

Once I was paid several hundreds of dollars to write an article about fire ants. I grew up in the South and I know, experientially and with great pain, about fire ants and what they do. Now I know slightly more, scientifically and with an almost equal amount of pain, about fire ants and how they’re very difficult to kill, even with great amounts of pesticide. Did you know they can survive a flood? Yes. They can. Also, don’t bother trying to find that article I wrote by searching “Annie Mueller + fire ants” because it wasn’t bylined and you’ll never find it. These are the small things we can be thankful for.

Freelance writing is particularly glamorous because you get to use neat online tools to do your work. In particular, I enjoy using Hemingway app to see how many adverbs I’ve used, and then not taking any out. I feel like I am flipping off the ghost of Hemingway and somehow that is very satisfying.

I take the excess adverbs out of client blog posts, of course. Duh.

Speaking of tools, I’ve only had one bad experience with an editor. When I say bad experience what I really mean is “bad editor,” but I try not to blame others for my problems. It’s just that, in this case, the editor was the problem, so I’m not sure how to assign blame.

I think one bad editorial experience—in over 15 years of freelance writing—is good.

Here are some things that bug me about being a freelance writer:

  • Having to use title case in all the sub-headers. Icky.

  • Having to use the word “content” a lot. So much a lot. So often. All the time. So many contents need to be content-ed. So many types of content. But always we must say the word “content” so that we all know what we are talking about.

  • Invoicing.

There are so many things I love about being a freelance writer, but here are the ones that are really floating my boat this week:

  • Getting to meet and work with people who care about communicating clearly and helping their customers succeed. They think about it, often and deeply. They care, genuinely. They are inspiring.

  • Getting to use GIFs in client blog posts.

  • Not having to write about fire ants.


❋What’s weird about the spelling of glamorous is that the vowels start to get jiggy with it. Stop it, vowels. Just be still.

Glamour

We can see clearly that the second syllable of the word contains the dipthong ou. (Dipthong is one of those glamorous words you get to use when you’re a freelance words person. It’s not as exciting as you might think.)

Glamorous

Here we can see clearly that in the adjective form of the word, the second syllable kicks out the u, choosing to become a single-vowel syllable, and the third syllable gets to have the dipthong ou. And that feels odd, because when you add a suffix to a word, you kind of expect the first part of the word to stay the same. But that’s a ridiculous expectation. There are actually all sorts of suffix spelling rules. Well, 6 rules. That seems excessive, though.