Thursday, September 9, 2010

Writing writing writing

Well, my third article is up at, the second in my five part series on construction contract administration. These are shorter articles and pay $100 each. I have also submitted my second feature article but they haven't posted it yet. These are longer and pay $250 each. I'm quite pleased with the site, and hope they keep giving me assignments at a similar rate as now. I'm under contract to do three more contract admin articles, and one news article on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

I've also been preparing a longer article pitch (or could be three feature articles), on asphalt solar collectors. Not sure how I came across this concept, but I'm intrigued by it. Use existing and new asphalt pavement as solar collectors, with required retrofit. Worcester Polytech (the university I was accepted to but couldn't afford to attend) is doing some good research into this, though the data I found is about two years old. I hope to make this an interview article, as well as research and apply good old common sense and engineering judgment.

At work today I wrote also. Item 1 was to re-write a contract for a water transmission main relocation. We are already under contract for this, but since the Arkansas transportation department is paying the bill, we have to restructure our contract in accordance with how they want to see it. As I worked on that, I had to retype the whole thing because the electronic file mysteriously disappeared. And I found the description of the work to be performed very inadequate. Item 2 was also marketing related, a brief scope of work to go in a proposal for a major development in the Tulsa suburb of Catoosa. Naturally the developer wants to destroy a floodplain and wants us to assist him. I wrote the scope for the flood study portion of the project.

Ideas for articles for continue to flow into my head faster than I can capture them on paper. The Catoosa flood study has given me ideas for about three articles I could write—and that's before we do the study! The flood zone we will be working in is a Zone A, which has the least degree of attention to establishing it of all the regulatory flood zones. Consequently it is least written about of all the flood zones. I have an excellent FEMA manual on these zones, but it's a difficult read. I could see doing a Frequently Asked Questions type article, or the three I mentioned, and doing a real service to the regulated community, maybe even my wallet.

My other area of concentration at Suite is in stock trading articles. I have four or five planned, and maybe over the next week I can get a couple of them done. I feel good about these articles being better earners than my US history and Robert Frost poetry articles. The ads Google puts on the pages are all relevant and reasonably attractive. A couple of Suite veterans (I don't consider myself a veteran there yet) have said I ought to write about 20 trading articles and see if that makes a difference in my revenue. Since I earn less than 50 cents a day there on average, a hub of 20 articles should tell me something.

We, I'd better run and do some of that. Those articles don't get written when I practice Internet writing on this blog. Also better add the checkbook since I paid some bills tonight. And, St. Athanasius and a NatGeo issue are beckoning to me.

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