Writing

With this post, I’m starting to revive my posting on this blog by talking more about my work as a freelance writer. I’ve been writing full-time for about a year and a half and making good progress in reaching better markets. My technical posts will continue to be in Mad File Format Science.

One of the first things I discovered is that writing on spec isn’t a good way to make a living. For a while I was writing for the Foundation for Economic Education, which accepted most of my submissions. They still list me as being on their Faculty Network, but I’ve stopped writing for them because they’ve stopped paying for articles. I’ve submitted some proposals to Reason, but without luck so far. Maybe I’ll get in eventually, but it’s not an easy way to get a regular income.

Fortunately, I have ample skills for writing about tech topics, and I’ve found a lot of work by request. Read the rest of this entry »

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Introducing Techno-Liberty

My newest blog project is Techno-Liberty. Quoting my own “About” page:

I’ve created this blog as a resource for discovering the ways that technology can advance liberty. You’ll see occasional forays into libertarian politics, but mostly it will be about technical issues: encryption, privacy, blockchains, data accumulation, secure communication, and so on.

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Websites to sell your writing

The Internet features a lot of websites where writers can connect with customers. None of them pay as well as finding your own clients, but some do offer decent pay and deal fairly. Others have serious problems of various kinds. Here are some notes from my experience:
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Cruise on a ghost (writer) ship

Yesterday evening I went on a Boston Harbor cruise with some fellow ghostwriters — a haunted cruise, obviously. The host was WriterAccess, which I do some writing for. It was very nice to put faces on what’s normally a faceless operation, and to talk with other writers on how they use the site. I learned a few things as well as having an enjoyable evening.
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How can writers find actual facts in research?

This morning I looked at a news item as a possible source for a paid article on computer tech. The story is on proposed energy reduction regulations for computers in California. It took me a minute to notice how short it is on information.

It starts off: “California regulators moved a step closer on Friday to the first mandatory U.S. energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors…” That’s useful to know, but what will these standards be? The article doesn’t tell us anywhere. It tells us how much consumers will supposedly save, how much greenhouse gas emissions may decrease, how much power computers consume in California — but not what the regulations would mandate. Without knowing that, there’s no way to judge whether the regulations will achieve their aims and what other consequences they might have.
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