I worry about the future of man, not from an economic prospective; these boom and bust cycles are part and parcel of modern day life. No, I’m concerned about the species as a whole.

Humans have been around for about 200,000 years. The earliest humans did not have it easy. They lived in caves and had to hunt for food. It is thought that they communicated by making grunting noises, similar to the ones you hear from today’s teenagers when you ask them to tidy their room.

As time went on, these early homo sapiens discovered they could make their life a lot easier if they used tools. Imagine what life would be like if you still had to go out and kill your dinner with your bare hands! There was no nipping down to Tesco and buying a pre-packed meal 200,000 years ago.

Nobody knows for sure when humans first started to talk, but it is thought to have been around 100,000 years ago. Before modern technology started to take over the world, people sat around the fire in the evening talking or playing music. There was no TV or Internet; people made their own entertainment.

When I was growing up, we did have TV, although there were very few channels to watch. As kids we amused ourselves by playing outside with friends. The family sat around the table for a meal when Dad got home from work and if we were really good we got to watch Dr Who on TV on Saturday.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Today’s kids don’t seem to go out and socialise with friends. They spend every waking minute attached to a screen of some sort. Be it DS, Wii, or iPhone, it’s hard to get them away from a screen.

Now all this screen based activity can’t possibly be good for their eyes. How many adults have had to start wearing glasses since they started doing most of their work on a computer? But as well as the damage they’re doing to their eyes, they’re missing out on a very important social skill – verbal communication. They don’t speak to their friends. If they do communicate at all, it’s via Facebook or text message.

The human race continues to evolve. If visitors from outer space were to land on earth in 200,000 years time; what would they find?

I think they’ll find a race of solitary round shaped beings, with extremely large, screen shaped eyes. When they approach these beings they will be greeted with grunts and groans. I can just imagine these extra-terrestrials looking at each other in amazement and saying – ‘well from outer space it looked like a technologically-advanced planet, but these are strange beings, they don’t even know how to talk!

Posted by: philippabell | May 11, 2012

How exactly do freelancers set about finding work?

Welcome to my tiny section of the blogosphere!

Why am I here? I’ve been doing freelance writing work for the same guy for more than 2 years now. But last week he gave me the news that all freelancers dread. Things are not going to well at his end and he may no longer need my services. Argh!

After I’d got over the initial shock, I thought I’d better do something about it, just in case…

So how do freelancers find work? I’ve amassed some contacts over the last few years and so I got in touch with them. They may be able to throw me some small scraps. And I do have another client that I do a little bit of writing for each week. But that’s not enough to keep the wolf away if everything goes pear-shaped.

Next step – check out the online marketplaces. Odesk, Elance and the like. Now the one thing that strikes me about these all of these sites is the low rates clients are prepared to pay. I do understand the laws of economics when it comes to supply and demand, but hey, if you offer peanuts, surely you get monkeys! $1 per 500 words – would that even buy a bag of peanuts in the UK?

To be fair, there are some contracts that pay better than that, but in order to stand a chance of getting them, it seems as if you need to start off at the bottom and get good feedback from some small contracts. No doubt, I will investigate further.

What I’d really like is a few small but interesting contracts that fit around my interests; environmental issues and the natural world. Writing gigs for those sort of topics seem rather thin on the ground though.

I’ve also dreamed of starting up my own genealogical research business. But how do I spread the word? Could it be that I’ve found the answer, here in the blogosphere? Only time will tell…

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