Wednesday, May 23, 2012

what's so good about being a ghost writer?

Aside from the fact that it brings in a bit of extra pocket money, helps keep my writing skills sharpened, and gives me something productive to do after-hours, there's nothing so great about it really, if you think about it.  Unless I was working on an entire book, which I'm not.  It's unglamorous, incognito and nothing I can boast about; but even if only for the three little benefits I just mentioned, I appreciate and even enjoy ghost-writing.

Okay, wait.  For those of you who aren't quite familiar with the term, it has nothing to do with ghosts, or anything supernatural for that matter.  It simply means writing for someone else, and that Someone Else takes credit for my work.  So the only ghost here really, is me. 

Lately, it's been my preoccupation of choice - researching and writing articles for travel books, tourism magazines, technology blogs, health websites and places in cyberspace to spam.  I don't really mind not being credited, since it's not creative work but just a lot of gathering and organizing data (now, for creative writing like short stories and poetry, that is a whole other story; I will never give up my rights on something I created with creativity).  If I didn't need to do chores, maintain hobbies or make time for ministry, I could make up to fifty US dollars a day - but since I want to have time for all those other things, I don't earn more than ten, but I'm good.  ;)  The reward really is being able to simplify my life, making time for things that matter to me while still being productive.

And oh - another little benefit of writing for other people: I get to learn about stuff I normally wouldn't be interested in.  Like, I just learned a lot about Australia, Diablo III builds and the new Samsung Galaxy.  And that article I recently worked on about "the top 10 regrets people have" made me reflect on my life and contemplate on a major decision.

The other day, I got so tickled when I found a website where several of my articles were put up.  It's a website on air travel called iFly, for which I've written a number of tips for travelers, glossary items and air-travel-for-dummies type material.  I recognized my work immediately (including the typos that were left in!) and wondered whether I should have charged more for them :p but there's some content pleasure in knowing that what I wrote is going to be immensely useful to a lot of people. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

cheerer-upper: new used books

I love good books.  I could be quite a glutton when it comes to reading, but I haven't been able to buy any new books in a while because of budget constraints.  Just some time ago I was ranting to a friend how trips to a bookstore could be quite frustrating since there are a lot of titles I want to buy but don't because great books aren't exactly cheap these days.

So I had a really lovely day when I came across this gem of a used books store.  I found it as I was passing time in the mall while waiting for a movie.  I don't mind buying second-hand books as long as they're in good (or at least, acceptable) condition; it's just that most used books stores I've been to mostly sell crap romance novels and obscure titles by never-heard authors.  But this one had several titles I've been looking for for some time now - and not in cheap pocket-sized versions with tiny print, mind you.  And they cost between P99 and P145, depending on how dog-eared they are.  But really, most of them are in good shape - besides, I don't mind slightly crinkled covers. 

I was so delighted, ended up getting six titles:

There were a couple of others I wanted to buy, but decided not to be too greedy.  Not yet, anyway.  After I've read at least three from this batch, I'd like to go back for a second helping.  Maybe some hardbound titles next time.