$5 for…

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2012 at 2:27 AM

As a kind of New Year’s resolution, I’m determined to write one short story a week. I’ve promised friends that I would email them the draft by the end of each week. They’ve received two stories so far. So my IOU keeps getting ridiculous. Mostly, perfectionism gets in the way. Most of the stories do not blow my mind so I resist sending. So I made myself a sign:

Well…maybe that should be “stories” instead of “pages” but the sign is multipurpose, you see?

One friend, even though she hasn’t seen a story of mine in her inbox for a while, suggested that I even go on the site fiverr.com and sell them for $5 a piece. The songwriters and storytellers on the website who churn out song after song or story after story for $5 a piece to a client base that steadily grows is an intriguing idea but I see future clients sending me photos of their bitter faces, pitchforks and torches in hand, demanding their story. Just 24 hours after paying $5. And I run off into the forest in danger of fairies smacking my face.

Now if you’re not familiar with fiverr.com, here are the basics:

People advertise specific services that they will complete for $5. The services are almost always something that someone can complete at home without you present with the results sent either through on-line means or through the mail. So workout plans, recorded testimonials, sock puppets, ornaments with your name of choice stamped on, prof-read documents, etc., make up the bulk of the services offered. All advertisers post specific size, quantity, word, time limits, etc per $5 paid. Most provide a video of them selling their service with a smile.

Karen McCluskey? Just in your 20s but making references to Desperate Housewives?

While perusing, I noticed that most will provide you with, give you, make you something that they pretty much already have a template for (whether it be a workout plan, testimonial, or sock puppet), if not something already prepackaged and ready to go. The product only waits for some personalization like a name on that ornament, specific weight loss goals, etc. Of course, this is the way almost all businesses work anyway, right? What business isn’t stocked and ready, whether it be to sell you purses or to send people to mow your lawn. The purses have been made and are waiting. The mowers have the equipment that they’ll need and are waiting. All before you call wanting.

So I wondered how many of the songs and stories are waiting in this way, with blanks ready to be filled with personalization.

I emailed 13 of the songwriters and storytellers, asking if they wrote what they wrote ahead of time and then personalized for a specific client right before sending. I’ve received 7 replies.

Three replied that when I paid my $5, they would tell me. Ha. Ha. Looking back over their pages, these three have very few comments from clients, low ratings, and no video of their charming faces selling their service with a smile. Their replies only confuse me more as to what to expect. Of course, a trend materializes only until someone else replies with the same comment but with a different, observable success so I will not a judge a book by its secretive cover. A fourth writer replied, “that’s personal.” They had a video and several comments, though most comments just praised how fast the story arrived. Hmmmm. Which questions did they go ahead and answer?

Then there were three who excited me. These three, by their number of ratings and comments, seem to be among the most popular. Since I neither told them nor plan to tell them that I would be blogging their answers, I will not copy and paste their word-for-word responses into this post. But I will paraphrase.

Had they have a stack of already written songs/stories kept on hand ready to be personalized for clients really quick before sending out?

“Yes and no.”

Whether a melody or a plot, the song or story has already been started. Most who write have a pile of stop-and-starts, clusters of ideas not yet forming a successful and finished piece. They’re just waiting. The inspiration that leads to successful, finished pieces comes from being paid to produce. Also, the details (the more the better) provided by the client also inspire. The writers have jumping off points. The clients send a few details to jump toward.

Well that’s doable.

And this gig is my favorite*:

Send a Funny Cupid Valentine

*I won’t stop you from sending me one. Love, love, love.

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