I’ve lately started nursing a dream, something to give shape and structure to this year off. I dream of becoming self-sufficient. Or more precisely, to somehow create a living income and escape the shackles of wage-slavery. All, preferably, without having to leave the comfort of my jammies. Careful research online (i.e. obsessive reading of tight-wad forums and money-saving websites) has shown me that there are as many creative ways for a poor person to make a bob or two online as there are pennies in my overdraft. And none of them, I hasten to add, involve the use of webcams, or showing my vest to any nice men in Minsk.
Instead, I’m discovering that an honest, fully-clothed lazymoo such as myself – or homeworker, if you speak web – can make a legitimate income online, in quite a bewildering range of ways. Survey sites, product sampling, writing copy for websites, trialling software: all profess to provide a source of income, without any of the inconvenience of leaving the daybed. Needless to say, I’ve been quite carried off with fantasies of this new life, lazy days spent sitting in the sun by a pool, laptop perched on me, me perched on sun-lounger (I’ve clearly emigrated in the fantasy, but I missed that bit), tapping away online to fund my new lifestyle.
In this spirit, then, I recently signed up for a website which puts companies needing web copy in touch with people who have a keyboard and two fingers, and who can write said copy. Which is why, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve rather unexpectedly found myself writing about the virtues of made-to-measure curtains, private licence plates, and how to construct a suspended ceiling (speaking of which, I wouldn’t stand under that when it’s done, if I were you). The mildly unsettling truth that 200 words of copy earns something in the region of 3 euros hasn’t dented my faith in the journey towards my fantasy pool at all. Nor the fact, as a friend sagely pointed out, that in this country we don’t actually use the euro all that much.
No. Undaunted by these details, off I trot of a morning to the nearest coffee shop, laptop in hand, and, coming over all Jessica Fletcher, I write. Now, the astute among you will have noticed the flaw in this. If one hour of copy = roughly 3 euros and one hour of coffee = roughly 2 pounds, I may as well cut out the middle man and write about the vertical blinds for free. I have not, as yet, been approached to write about economics.
I’m slowly coming to realise I may have to scale my dreams of self-sufficiency back a little for now and stay where I am a while longer. I’ll keep on writing the copy, however: it pays for the coffee and, importantly, everyone gets to keep their vest on.