I haven’t got the contract yet, but I am almost officially writing for money on an education blog that is in the launching stages at Care2. I found out about the opportunity via the SVM Network, which is where 50 Something Moms blog originates. One of the editors at Care2 was looking for teachers who were interested in writing about education issues and I raised my hand in a cyber-like way via email. A short exchange and a phone interview later, I was offered a job that pays per post – not a lot – but with opportunities to boost my bottom line via page views and comments.
The editor was a bit embarrassed about the pay, but as I have been blogging for little but personal gratification and the chance to get my name out, I was happy for any writing opportunity that wasn’t based on a barter system. I am not enamored at all of the way bloggers exchange posts for stuff/free product. A little too colonial for my tastes. However, I am aware that the practice of giving away content – as I do here on WordPress and for the SVM – drips of indentured servitude as well. I try to view the time at Moms Speak Up and Care2 as internships. I was writing for publications. I had to interview and submit writing samples. I was not self-publishing. They are valid mentions when discussing my experience as a writer.
“What would you write about if you were to blog for the site today,” she asked me.
“Reform,” I replied, going on to explain my background and how much of my career was more cutting edge than a person might expect for a middle school teacher in Des Moines, Iowa.
I might roll my eyes a bit when the next new great and wonderful thing in education is something I have seen under a different name twice already, but I am a firm believer in pushing the envelope and was nearly always one of the first early adopters of things that moved the profession and the level of my teaching forward. Next to current events and politics, there is nothing that works me up more than education reform. There is an editor at the Des Moines Register who will be glad I have my own forum now because perhaps I will leave hers alone.
This is a real job though. It’s not going to be just me spouting my opinion – although I will be opinionated because I can’t help it most of the time. I am going to need to read and fact check and find sources. I began my college career as a journalism major, ironically, and now I am back around to the beginning. I am committed to one post a week. I have a one post minimum every two weeks at 50 Something still. There is the memoir, and NaNoWriMo, to contend with too. If there was doubt about my status as a writer, this puts it to rest. I am a writer and soon I will have a paycheck for the governments of Canada and The United States to fight over to prove it.