Over the month I’ve been poking and prodding at possible ways of making an income from writing to supplement my actual nature writing. My goal is to find something which will dovetail neatly with my nature writing interests so it’s not wasted time.

Trying to get academic proof-reading work for biology research papers has drawn a complete blank. I’ll try again in November but for now I’m having a pause and rethink on the strategy for trying to get into this.

The Upwork website for freelancers has proved more fruitful. This month I submitted a proposals for three jobs as follows which although not plant related could help me get some good customer reviews:

  • editing an MSc in physiotherapy
  • editing a children’s book
  • audio transcription editing project

These haven’t led to anything but I was also contacted through Upwork by a start-up company based in Haifa who were looking for writers with biology training to write 1600 word scripts for science animations. I was asked to submit some possible titles for quirky and/or mind-bending animations. The one they liked was “Talking Trees” so the next provisional milestones are:

  • a ten point outline of the content for the animation (rate £12), which if approved leads to…
  • a first draft of the script (rate £32), which if it is to be made into an animation leads to…
  • a final edited draft of the script for my approval (rate £135).

Although all these stages are provisional, this is a topic which it will be really useful to research even if I can’t deliver what they want and it’s a great excuse to read Peter Wollheben’s The Hidden Life of Trees and Melvin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life.

I have found reading some of the jobs advertised on Upwork a bit depressing – particularly the ones along the lines of “please will you write my undergraduate essay for me” – which just seems so blatant and cynical – or “I need a ghostwriter for the story of my life for $100”.