I’ve always considered myself a comedian, though much more of a spontaneous kind rather than the classic, scripted one in stand-up. It’s why my short career as one didn’t work. But as a writer, which I’ve been for almost eight years now, I decided to try and earn a living as a freelance writer/translator. If any of you have given it a try, you’ll notice how troublesome that crap is. Allow me to expand on this.
I have two bookmarked sites I usually visit. One of them allows employers to set the job offers so only premium members can apply for jobs (it’s a yearly fee of 120 bucks). If you aren’t a premium member… well, there are SOME jobs that aren’t set to Premium-only, but even then, to apply for the job, you have to pay 1 dollar. Just so it’s clear enough for everyone, I’ll repeat it. They [i]charge you[/i] for applying for a job. If you’re premium, applying is free, but if you’re trying to earn some money for yourself and are starting, you’re basically screwed unless the employer offers you to contact him via email directly. Other than that, you’re hosed. Then they have the translation contests, which would be awesome to have something to show off and get you in the spotlight and prove your skills. But again, only uncommon language pair (say, Arabic to Icelandic) you can make submissions as a free members. As a measure to trim entries in the most common language pairs (mostly English to almost any common language known to man) you must be a premium member of the site. So no “prove your worth” for you either. Also, mastery of a translation assistant program is required in mot jobs, premium-only or not, and those bastards cost over 600 bucks. I dunno, there are expensive dictionaries, but those are quite useful. I have one, actually, and it works wonders. I know it’s much more, but damn.
Then there’s the other freelancing site. This one at least isn’t demanding when it comes to “you have to pay for apply”, but it counters it with more bullshit. You have limited bids (times you can apply for jobs), and they regenerate very slowly (if you’re a free user, you get another bid every three days), and of course, competing with hundreds of people. Not only that, but, while there’s no way of making jobs “premium-only” in this one, the employer might demand to have passed one of the several exams the site offers to show your skills. And, of course, those cost money. 5 pounds each. Even if the exams aren’t truly necessary, it’s constantly encouraged to pass them to attract more clients. Again, this is balls if you’re trying to start. Not only you have to think about all that, but most of the jobs have such a miserably low pay that you have to read it several times because you refuse to believe. It’s very common to see offers where they pay you one dollar per 500-word article. Wow! [i]A whole dollar![/i] These guys are throwing money away like candy here! And don’t even get me started with rush jobs! This was a real, I-shit-you-not” conversation with a client.
"Hey, I need to get this 10 pages translated!"
"Sure, when’s the deadline?"
"In thirty minutes."
Yeah, that happens. And the pay is still shitty compared to the average translation rates. “Hire freelancers for a fraction of a cost,” they say on the site. A fraction indeed.
So while I still throw bids there and hope for jobs here and there, I’m working on another projects I’ll keep you informed about. I’ll still try to draw/update little by little as i usually do.