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I figure it was about 0C when I went off to the dentist appt at 9 this morning. Seemed like it was about 2C by the time I left and headed to work, and the sign confirmed it. I was talking to the dentist about the weather and almost made a remark about mornings hovering around zero but warming up nicely during the day — I stopped myself and said “freezing” instead.

I’m not sure why I am teaching myself metric, but it’s really working. Maybe I’ll do distances and speeds in metric next. If I ever go to Europe, it will come in handy.

The dentist filled a cavity under a crown this morning. Next month is another filling, the month after that an extraction. and then the two root canals will probably finish it off. After that, I will (I hope) be back to where I was when I last had dental insurance, and can get by with the occasional cleaning.

No news from Andy yet. I might write his drill instructor and see if he will tell me generally how things are going.

I have written five articles so far for Massively.com. Since I am a new writer, everything I write has to be pored over by the lead editors, and they are extremely nitpicking. Well, Krystalle is. When she’s my lead, I know it’s going to be an hour of rewrites. With Michael, I’ll be done in ten minutes.

You not only have to write clearly, you have to inject your own voice, that voice must be generally like the other posts on the site, you have to refer to games and web sites in painfully specific ways, you must categorize and tag correctly so that people will find the site when they do searches and your writing must also contain high percentages of what they call “google-fu” — things that people might conceivably search for.

They have a list of article ideas called a “crawl” — these are the ones the leads would like to see written, and you can choose which ones appeal to you, but honestly, there are precious few of those. So I end up choosing ones that I think I *can* write about, even if I know nothing about the game. Then I have to research the game, play it a little if I can so that what I write doesn’t sound uninformed, and then write it all up in 2-4 paragraphs. Go to Mytopia.com, for instance. Now write up two good sized paragraphs about it. Done? Cool. Here’s what I came up with.

I had two articles go up today, right next to each other. I’d scheduled them further apart, but Krystalle moved the second one earlier to make room for news about World of Warcraft’s 2.4 patch.

The second article I wrote as a favor to a friend; an interview with a person I don’t know about a game I know little about. Wheee.

Writing about random stuff on a deadline — I have to write at least two articles every day — sure gives me some pointers in writing. Lesson #1 for me was, it is easy to NOT write. All you do is just sit down and do something besides writing. Lesson #2 was, sit down and write anything, even if it sucks and you KNOW it sucks. You can go back and fix it, but you can’t ever fix it if you didn’t write anything in the first place. So when I sit down and write “So, this guy who works at this place was talking about some stuff in this game,” well, it may be awful, but it’s a start.

Big difference from my blog, which I can update whenever, talk about whatever, be as sloppy a writer as I like, and nobody will care. Then again, I am not being paid for my blog.

Writing has become a second job, something which struck me only this morning. I have two jobs now. My response to Andy leaving was to work more. There has to be something to that. When I got home last night, I made and ate dinner, read the rest of the book I was reading while the cat played pistachio shell pinball, and then went to work. An article before I played EQ2, and an article after, and then to bed.

I wonder if I am just keeping busy just to keep busy.

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3 Comments

  1. Very cool — sounds like you are making progress in a couple of areas of your life — oral health and professional writing! Congrats!!

  2. I don’t think you’re doing the second job just to keep busy. It seems to me that you enjoy being a published writer.

  3. Yeah, it’s a kick when it’s done, but the actual process is hard and not that much fun. I think I enjoy having written more than actually writing.


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