Does A Top-Rated Badge Plus A 100% Success Score Equal More Money?

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I recently received an email from Upwork notifying me that I’m a “Top-Rated Freelancer”.


My Mom has been calling me a “Top-Rated Son” for as long as I can remember. She never told me what exactly my rating was, as the third-born of five boys, but I’m pretty sure it’s up there. Top three, for sure.

So it came as no surprise to learn that I am top rated. It did produce a question, though:

Does a top-rated badge actually mean anything on Upwork?

I went to take a look at how clients see my profile and noticed that…

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Mysteries and dire circumstances commune to make this life interesting

Swearing on our blank gravestones, we wandered into the wilderness, vowing to return when we’d found ourselves complete

Little did we know that the other had given up only to head back out again after waiting years for our return

Years of regretting the decision to quit, eyes opened wide for the first time ever, sent us each back out on our quest

The beauty of each new experience helping us to become who we were meant to be

Each setback and broken bone making us more determined and stronger…

And You Can Be One, Too.

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Self-doubt can be a powerful thing. I convinced myself, somewhere in the last 15 years, that I would never be a paid writer. I was going to school for journalism when street preachers were decrying the inevitable fall of the New York Times and Washington Post.

“Damn you, beautiful and wonderous internet,” they said, “for killing print journalism! Oh, and books, too!”

And I believed them. It was around that time that I started telling myself I should aim for a different goal. So what did I do?

Got a job tending bar.

No, seriously. I did.

I drank too…

Can Lead You To Places You Never Would Have Gone

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Today I was having a tough time writing. So I wrote this:

Creaking stairs under the weight of my swole-ness give me solace.

Nevermind the steroid use. The side effects are generally worth the bulging muscles of a movie star.

So when I encounter a creaky stair, be it in a stranger’s house or my own,

I spend about five minutes there, stepping up and down, relishing in the fact that I’m 220 pounds of pure muscle.

Nevermind the fact that this has made my job — burgling stranger’s houses — more difficult than ever.

Nevermind the fact that the stairs in question probably creak when a puny little girl steps on them.

Nevermind the fact that I’m currently on parole after spending 2 years in jail for breaking and entering.

I’m finally back on my steroid regimen, and I feel better than some time in the past when I didn’t feel good.

And I’m on a neverending quest for the next creaky stair.

My life has purpose. Finally.

Yeah… Complete and utter garbage. I’m embarrassed for you to have read it. That’s a minute of your life you’ll never get back.

In fact, were it not to prove a point, no one else would have ever seen this strange piece of writing.

I don’t have stairs in my house, I’m not bulging with muscles, and I’ve never been to prison. (Don’t ask about the whole burglary-is-my-job thing… Just don’t.)

This is a work of fiction. A piece of writing that took me no more than five…

Off-The-Wall Ways To Overcome The Infamous Mental Malady

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The minutes stretch into hours, the blank page stares up at you like a challenge, taunting you with its… blankness. The blinking cursor a steady reminder of your inability to write.

What went wrong? You think. What did I do to deserve this? I’ve only taken candy from passing children a handful of times! Surely my predilection for stolen sweets isn’t enough to deserve this horror. Why me? Is this it? Am I all out of ideas? Even if I do manage to write something in this state it will be the worst thing anyone has ever…

It Could Be Killing Your Creativity

Writing is hard.

It took me an hour to come up with that opening sentence. Why? Because I was thinking. Really thinking…

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t an hour. But it took longer than it should have.

I was worried about you, dear reader. Worried that this would not be good enough for you (a complete stranger), or for members of my family (let’s face it: they’ll tell me it’s great, even if it’s not), or for imagined clients that may or may not someday hire me to write for them.

What a waste of time. When I really think…

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Serendipitous timing and a clean slate never seemed all that likely.

Until one day a crack appeared in the earth and in that crack, you.

Bellowing and foaming at the mouth, beating your fists in protests against imagined injustices.

Pleading for sunlight while climbing ever further down the crevasse.

Toward a self-made hell, an artwork of sorts dedicated to misery and surrender.

Actions and words so peculiar and outside my realm of understanding as to be genuinely frustrating.

But never could I ever back away from that fissure in the earth as time spun out around me.

We two were…

And how they can help you live a better life

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I no longer take opioids, but coming to terms with my addiction has been a long and arduous process. This article is part of the process, but it’s also for those who have never been addicted to drugs. It is for those who want to live better. It is for those who are struggling to come to terms with their own addictions, opioid or otherwise.

I am only speaking from experience, and do not have formal training in addiction treatment. I do, however, feel that my story and the realizations I’ve come to about my addiction can help those who…

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He paced the edge of the seemingly large pool several times, watching the water shift almost imperceptibly, the light in the shallow end enhancing the motion. He searched in earnest for any change happening to the ground beneath the water. The world around was asleep, the only sound that of the filter pump humming away behind him, and the consequent shift of the water as the submerged jets moved the liquid around.

He stopped occasionally above the tiles that read 3ft, silently telling himself to jump, toes gripping the edge above the water. Being only six years old, he knew…

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Some semblance of red in a sea of violet, the waves crash upon the shore and leave millions of wilting petals behind.

A sky choked with crimson clouds begins to rain scarlet water,

down over the world in a fine mist, like that of arterial blood sprayed from a gaping wound.

Giant stems adorned with thorns grow rampant and huge through city streets, long ago abandoned by rolling tires and padding footsteps.

Skyscrapers once of best repute are dilapidated and withering under a red canopy that blocks out the sun.

Living beings have been smothered, starved, or crushed by the…

Matt Doggett

Matt is a freelance writer and full-time reader. He’s a bit of a nerd and a fitness freak. Check out his novella, Trouble, here:

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