Term papers & Porn: Writing for the Lazy & the Socially Moronic

It started a long time ago, way back in the 1980s. I was working in a restaurant and I was working the morning shift which meant cleaning the bar. I hated the job, but it paid $3.50 an hour which was slightly above minimum wage. It was early morning Saturday, and I was sweeping the bar when the owner Bill entered the establishment. Bill was kind of a lunatic, but he seemed to have it made as he fucked waitress after waitress while blowing coke in his office upstairs. He stood in the doorway watching me work. He looked exhausted from what I was sure was a night of debauchery. In that moment, he pointed at me and said, “Son, you’re going to do well in this world. Just remember that if you do the work that other people don’t want to do, you’ll make a fortune.”

As Bill walked off to his office to sleep, I looked down on the dirty bar floor and found a $20 bill amongst the trash. I picked up the $20 and thought to myself, “That Bill might be right.” I was 15 years old and had the blueprint for success growing within my young mind.

When I entered college at 18, I managed to get a job at a bank that paid $6.25 per hour. I thought I was very lucky to get a job that paid so well despite the fact that I was constantly broke. I also had the experience of meeting many different and interesting people. One of these individuals would solidify my thinking about how to earn money and what constitutes a good living.

Betty was in her 70s and she was a customer at the bank. She came in weekly and deposited her checks and one week I was handling her transactions when I noticed that her checks were written from a publishing house. I asked if she was a writer and she said, “Why yes I am.”

We got to talking because I wanted to be a writer and I was very interested in how she got into the business. She wrote Harlequins and other smutty novels. When I probed her for information concerning publishing, she smiled at me and said,

Son, you should know that there is no money in writing fiction unless you are really lucky. The real money is in writing what people need or want. If you write a chemistry textbook this might be a good avenue for success, but you are going to need to be an expert at chemistry. However, if you can write smut you can make a ton of money because there is a huge demand for dirty books. You see, very few people read and even newspapers have to write their stories at a fourth-grade level. My advice to you is to write what people need and want and you’ll do fine.

I sat looking at Betty’s deposited check long after she left. She was making three times what I made weekly just on her residuals. I was reminded of Bill and that Saturday morning in the years prior. Could it really be true that all you had to do to make money was write crap that people wanted or needed?

As fate should have it, a few weeks later I was sitting in the lounge at the college I attended. There was this beautiful Italian girl who I was talking to for several weeks. We had gone to lunch a few times and things seem to be progressing slowly but positively towards dating. On this particular day, Mary Jo entered the lounge and was frustrated. I asked what was wrong and she said, “I messed up so bad. I have a two-page essay due in like an hour and forgot about it.”

I said, “Oh, that’s no big deal, give me the directions.”

She handed me the directions from her notebook, and I got out my pen and started writing. In about 20 minutes I was done. I handed her the essay and said, “See if that works.”

She was so relieved and said, “Thanks, it would have taken me forever to write.”

“Really?” I asked.

She looked at me like I was an idiot and stated, “I hate writing papers.”

And with that being said, my mind churned in essay writing machinations. Strategies were born and markets targeted. I soon found myself buying a top of the line Smith Corona word processor. I was suddenly tossed into a world of hot Italian sex, paper writing, and partying. Let me tell you how easy this evolution occurred.

The Ancient Smith Corona Word Processor

I was discussing my idea with Mary Jo and trying to figure out how to get new customers. She said, “Don’t be stupid. Just go to the people who need the papers the most, the jocks. They’re all idiots.”

She was correct. I went to the side of the lounge at school where all the football players hung out and asked this guy Martin, “Hey man, do you know anyone who might need help with writing their papers? I am trying to earn some extra money.”

He answered,

Dude! You just don’t know. We got to maintain our grades or we can’t play. If you can help us out, I know about five guys who would be willing to pay you.

Thus, it began. Paper after paper came from dumb jocks. Most of the time they would present me with the directions, and I would write the papers and get paid. Sometimes the jocks didn’t understand their mental inferiority and would attempt to write the papers on their own. They would often submit them to me for corrections before turning them in. I thought this was commendable but also futile. I remember Mary Jo and I sitting on my couch one night reading the jock papers. One creative writing essay made us laugh as I read it aloud:

One night I went to bed and dreamed I was a woman. When I woke up I found I no longer had a penis and balls. I had a furry bush where my balls and penis used to be. Yes, I had a vagina and I decided to explore my new vagina.

The necessity for my paper writing skill was clear. The money I made also reflected this need. I began adding up the money I was making, and I found that I was making more money writing papers than I was at my banking job. Clearly, the job was a hindrance to my new career path and needed to go. I would like to say I stormed into the bank and defiantly told them, “I quit.” The truth is that I got really drunk one night too many and got fired.

For some time, I indulged in the hot Italian love and term paper business. But as time progressed, career and school paths changed, and my beautiful Italian lover disappeared into the ether of young adulthood. I was on my way to working my own career, and our affection was lost into the fond memories of college love and paper writing stories. Yes, paper writing was a thing of college not really meant to be a job or career. Or was it?

During college and after, I wrote books and tried to get published. This was a failure and became a frustrating endeavor as time wore on. I began focusing more and more on my day job which paid the bills. I was sucked into a terrible career that paid well.

Eighteen years later I found myself struggling in the career that once paid well. I found myself making less money year after year and working longer hours. The job was terrible and it used to pay in accordance to the misery that it inflicted, but no more. I thought long and hard about what to do. I was approaching 40 and things were looking bad. I sat back and considered my situation. In my musings, I fondly remembered Mary Jo and paper writing. I remembered how much fun we had and how lucrative writing papers could be. I thought, “Could it be the answer?”

The world was very different then it was in the 80s. The internet was a sprawling digital opportunity for anyone with an idea. I posted my Craigslist ad and called out to Myspace. Soon I was writing papers for college students and once again making more money at essays than at my fulltime job.

I would love to tell you that I went to work and told them, “I quit,” but I did not. Instead, I pushed all their buttons to piss them off until they finally had enough and fired me. It was time to take my place amongst the pieces of shit in the world who were proud to collect unemployment. As luck should have it, the Great Recession was underway, and I was granted an extension on unemployment. I collected every dime while writing papers.

As I established myself as an author of term papers, I began looking for new ways to enterprise on laziness and ignorance. I remembered Betty’s voice echoing from the past, “If you want make money writing, then you have to give them what they want- smut.”

I began searching the internet for ways to make money writing about sex. I quickly discovered that porn has a huge market for writing because you need to direct traffic to the porn sites and since articles rank higher than PPC ads you could make money just by affiliation. So began the writing of smut. Article after article with classic subject matter such as:

How to pick up any hot woman.
Gain three inches in three weeks.
Blonde threesomes made easy.
Your girlfriend is cheating, but you secretly like it.
Don’t be fooled! Bigger is better.

It is difficult to believe that people read this nonsense, but they do. They read it more than Shakespeare, Sophocles, and all the great masters combined. The reality was a slap in the face as I began to realize that the effort placed into writing great fiction was lost on the masses who wanted to read about people placing oversized objects in their asses.

Once again, I found myself in that world of hack writing where you have no boss and make money writing stupid shit for idiots and desperate men. Soon, I was dating a bodacious blond 18 years younger than me. We drank, fucked, and reveled in the lazy, stupid, and socially moronic. People pointed fingers talking and whispered about how I would get mine. Karma and all that jazz. Well, if Karma is having sex with beautiful women and working less and making more money, then I will take what I have coming.

The truth is that nobody cares about what you write unless it gets in front of the right person, gets published, or pushed into a movie deal. The truth is that when I worked hard trying to get published, this effort got me nowhere. The truth is that when I gave into what the masses really want, I found I could make more money and have more fun. I still write books and poetry, but I will market my writing my way. My way will not involve starving or waiting for some pompous ass publisher or agent to rain charity on me. I will just continue writing smut and term papers. People scoff and look at me with disdain, but I say, “Go fuck yourself.”