Straight Outta Craigslist
Every once in a while, I pop into the Writing Gigs section of Craigslist. Not because I need the work — my day job keeps me plenty busy, and there’s the several hours of nightly writing, too. No, I check out these gigs mainly for entertainment value.
Check the above-mentioned section of your local Craigslist, and I bet you’ll find something like the following (which I made up):
GHOST WRITER WANTED
I have an idea for a book, and I need a writer to write it for me. No credit will be given, but you will be compensated up to $500.
Ads like this make me giggle. First off, no writer who can actually write, regardless of their financial circumstances, would consider writing a whole book for someone else for such a small amount. I’d hope none of them would consider it at all, really, but I know that’s unfortunately not true. What I really find funny, though, is the assumption that all you need is the idea for a book — the whole writing thing is just some drudge work to outsource for a nominal fee.
So you had an idea. Congratulations. That means there’s electricity running to your brain. Ideas are worth exactly fuck all unless you do something to execute them. Having an idea doesn’t mean you have a book — it just means you had a random thought. But don’t expect any writer to come and do all the work while you snatch up all the credit and the profits — we have our own ideas, and the will and the means to execute them. Put together a pitch with the idea, then learn to write. Then you know that the end product is yours.
And writers — please don’t indulge these people. I know financial straits happen, but work for what you’re worth.
So, what’s the most insulting ad you’ve seen on Ye Olde Craigslist? Which ones made you laugh with their misguided ideas?