Tag: Ethics

My New Gig and a What the Heck? Moment

I have a new gig. The funniest part: that’s the ACTUAL name of it.

If you’re looking for someone to write your evil synopsis or proofread your story before you submit it, check me out on Fiverr. I have affordable rates.

Really. If you have a 100,000-word novel, I would proofread it for $550. That’s as much as half the rate of other professional editors.

Not that I have tons of time for proofreading novels. But I’m willing to make the time.

Why have I taken on another gig when I have so many writing projects under contract and in process?

There’s This Thing Called Retirement

My husband wants to retire. I talk a bit about some of our plans here.

I don’t think I’ll stop writing until I can’t do it anymore. Maybe my brain will turn to mush. Or arthritis will cripple my fingers. It’s possible the story ideas will stop plaguing me (but that’s hard to imagine).

However, my husband wants to stop the daily commute. He’d like to take on a new hobby or two. And both of us want to travel across the United States, through every state. Not just to say we have, but to see this country we’ve been born and raised to call home.

But all that takes money.

So before my husband can retire, we need to pay everything off. Plus, there’s the purchase of an RV that needs to take place. Don’t get me started on that.

To help in this process of paying down and saving for the future, I feel compelled to earn more money.

What About ALL Those Books

Writing isn’t a lucrative career. Not even for mid-list authors.

And I’m still WAY down the list.

With every book I release, I build a base. My earning potential increases. But I still don’t make as much with my writing as I can subbing only a couple days every month.

If I got a full-time job, I’d make even more. I’d be able to save my annual maximum in my Roth IRA with a couple paychecks and use the rest of the money to pay down my car loan and our mortgage. Then save it for a down payment on the RV.

What would probably happen then is that my husband would want to retire earlier. But with the whole medical insurance issue, that’s probably not going to happen.

Not that we spend much on medical expenses. But that will change as we get older. After all, old things break down. They need more maintenance.

Medical costs are crazy.

Which Led Me to Fiverr

Since the cover designer I usually work with has been swamped with writing contracts (good for her), I was back on Fiverr to find someone to design the logo and covers I need for the Reflections series.

As I was crafting my request for bids, I decided to just toss up a gig or two of my own. What’s the worst that would happen? No one would hire me and I’d be out an hour’s worth of work.

A week later, I got this lovely email from Fiverr:

They cancelled my proofreading gig because I’d mentioned proofreading college essays (I guess).

So…is it wrong to get your essays proofread by someone?

I ask this because I proofread many of my sons’ essays for college. I did NOT rewrite them. I did not change them. I proofed them for spelling, usage and grammar errors.

Yes, if there were flaws in reasoning, I mentioned that, but I didn’t rewrite anything. It was up to THEM to make even the changes I suggested. They still had to do the work.
Was it UNETHICAL for my—a professional author—to proofread my sons’ college essays?

I’d love to have a discussion about this. What do you think?

I think it’s a little crazy that Fiverr banned my gig because I mentioned proofreading essays. But perhaps they’ve had some sort of legal action brought against them in the past for soliciting students.

Personal Ethics

Even if I’m not really going to college in my sons’ minds, they still manage to use me as an editorial service. If they want a B or better on a paper, it undergoes Mom’s red pen before it gets turned in.

(I love that I can actually mark everything in red just by selecting “Track changes” from the “review” menu in Word. I don’t care what they say about red marks being hard on self-esteem. There’s something about marking in red ink that makes me feel like a real editor.)

This term, my business marketing son is taking two ethics classes. He sent me a paper entitled “Personal Ethics” that outlined his own values and character and how it was developed and what sort of things influence or change it. In a world where my sons still “know it all,” reading this paper made me weep proud.

The son in question
The son in question

The paper was divided into four sections: personal vocation, personal values, character and ethical choices. Since it was for a business class, one might expect dry reading. Not so.

First of all, my youngest writes with a loud and clear voice. He doesn’t have the best grammar (and his spelling would appall without spellcheck), but any reader can get a clear picture of who the writer is behind the words. This aspect of writing can’t really be taught and it’s essential for a successful fiction writer.

This is the “choke me up” section of the paper (parents will understand):

“My core values are something that I would like to pass on to my kids someday. I feel that everyone’s values show up in who they are and can be reflected in their children. That is the reason why I believe so many of my values came from my parents because they taught me to live a certain way and they themselves lived that lifestyle in front of me. It is amazing how much of an impact parents have on their children.”

For those of you who have yet to hear “Thank you” or “You really helped me” from your children, don’t despair. They may be assigned to write about something like personal values in a college ethics class. When they stop and deeply consider why they believe what they believe, they’ll realize it’s because of you.

Parenting – the most important job on the planet earth.

Hang in there, folks. One day, you could hear the words “well done” from the Lord Jesus Christ – and maybe even your kids.