A few days ago I wrote about the dilemma writers face when it comes to taking part in a particularly juicy story that would guarentee hits and Google juice, but could add to the sensationalism of the story or contributing focus on the real issues at hand.
One comment stood out and got me thinking on a whole other level. Bobbi C wrote:
When I first looked at your article, I thought you’d be discussing things further down the moral code scale like reviewing adult videos, writing erotica, or writing for a term paper mill.
This is an important area to cover because the jobs in these fields are plentiful and writers have to decide what works for them. Some say work is work and it doesn’t matter the client or the work as long as you put a professional face on it and complete your job, and they have a point. On the other hand, a lot of your success in writing will be tied to how you feel about the work you produce. When you’re passionate about something you tend to excel at what you’re doing. When you’re working because it’s work, people tend to go through the motions.
It is important to realize that the adult writing market has a wide spectrum of work available. Writers could be asked to write anything from ladies lingerie descriptions for catalogs, reviews for products, movies or books to writing content for web sites offering a wider selection of adult entertainment. I’ve done a little catalog work and it can be fun to write little cheeky puns, but you need to be aware of what may affect your other works down the line.
One of the side benefits of freelance work is the accumulation of clips. You will have to be selective in using clips from your adult writing to gain, say magazine gigs. You wouldn’t want to use your article on the best ouch-free nipple clamps to get a gig writing a belly button care article for a parenting magazine. Some future work may be more sensitive to your past work including corporate clients. Some writers choose to use pen names for this type of work.
Paper mills are another matter entirely. Normally I leave it up to the writer to decide, but I’m telling you in no uncertain terms – don’t do it. You’re setting up some poor kid for failure, not because your paper sucks, but because you’re helping them to learn how to take the easy, dishonest way out. They are bound to get caught or your paper might be their gateway drug to further cheating. Do you want that on your conscience?
Spill FWJ – have you written about dirty bits before?