In the past two years, freelance assignments have taken me to some interesting places: I’ve hiked the steaming caldera of a Hawaiian volcano, snorkeled the world’s deepest spring, rappelled into an Alabama cave, and held a piece of ALH 84001, the famous rock from Mars. I’ve written about these adventures at the average rate of a dollar per word.
So what, you ask? Isn’t this the sort of fun freelance writers have always bragged about?
Well, yes and no.
What’s unusual in my case (but quickly getting to be the norm) is that none of the stories I wrote about these adventures ever appeared on a printed page. They were published on the World Wide Web, Le Matin, in…