Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Work, Writing

The Existential Angst of the Monkey Copywriter

You sit at your desk day after day and you type and you type but you never really write anything.

It’s just meaningless words for a meaningless catalog that people only look at for the pictures anyway.

You type and you type and your head hurts from the sheer volume of products that you have to write about.

You lose track of individual sentences and paragraphs and you find yourself drowning in a sea of meaningless phrases.

“A must have”
“A must see”
“An incredible deal”
“An amazing bargain”
Great for doing xx”
“Ideal for xx”
“So tremendously f–king satisfying at accomplishing xx”

The words and the products and the information all jumble together so your head can no longer sort them all out.

Can you look for typos, read for content, verify the product information, and check to see if the pricing makes sense all at the same time?

You sit at your desk and you type and you type and you don’t dare get up because there is work to be done and you must do it.

There is always something else to write, always another deadline to meet, always another mess of words and information that you must somehow stitch into a Frankenstein monster of a catalog.

You dig and you beg and you borrow and you steal and you do the best you can to put the words together. Then you hope for a lightning bolt of creative inspiration that will somehow bring this creature to life.

And just when you think you’ve got things under control, just when it seems like your creature will live and breathe and speak to your customers, then pages get cut and products get dropped, and rules get changed.

It turns out that what they really want to do is send out a catalog that is half the size but has twice the products.

And thus the carefully stitched monster of spare parts that you have somehow managed to breathe life into is hunted down and torn apart by the mob.

And thus you must return to the graveyard of your thoughts.

You must once again dig up the same rotten words and moldy sales phrases, drag them back to your cubicle laboratory, clean them off and stitch them together. You must once again hope for the bolt of inspiration that will bring them life.

And you must once again wait and watch in helpless agony as the mob hunts down your wretched creation and tears it apart.

Work, Writing

Let’s See How this Elance Thing Works Out

Your Monkey is now more determined than ever to find a new job and expand his mind and build his skills and all that good stuff.

There is only so long that one plucky primate can feed the copy monster at his present position before he goes mad.

Madness for your Monkey will not be all giggling and shaking and the ignornant bliss of  being unaware. Your Monkey will not stop showering and start writing love letters to his stapler.

Instead the Madness that comes is a sickness that makes your monkey feel very very low and makes it difficult for him to get through the day. The Madness makes him think that he is locked in an endless, unwinnable battle against the forces of copy entropy.

How many words can you type, how many product offers can you edit, how many inconsistencies and you find and resolve, and how many new problems can you create because you’re asked to handle so many words on a daily basis?

The traditional job market is still as dry as ever, so your Monkey has taken the time to join up with this Elance freelance service to see if any work might come out of there.  Any and all of these freelance writing opportunities that come up on the web seem ripe with the potential for ripoff.

But someone recently wrote a blog post (damned if this Monkey can remember who it was) who compared Elance to a flea market where you will get some of the good, some of the bad, and some in between. You just have to be a careful shopper.

So we will see how it goes. Your Monkey is not looking to get rich for doing nothing, but he would like to develop his skills and perhaps diversify his income.

On the plus side for Elance, there is a long and involved qualifying process that includes a fairly detailed multiple choice test, so it appears that they are at least trying to weed out some of the riff raff.

We shall see what happens.