Common speech and, often, writing use the verbs "can" and "will" interchangeably, which one should not. They don't mean the same thing. "Can" refers to ability. If you can replace "can" with "is/are able to" and the sentence still make sense, then you're using correctly. If you refer to possibility or permission, then you've used it incorrectly and should swap it out for "may." If you refer to intent, not ability, then "will" is the proper verb. If you're referring to obligation, then use "should."
The above two buyer requests were recently posted on Fiverr. I did not bid on either one.
Let's dissect the first (the one on the left).
Project Scope - Ghostwriting
Length - 9,000 words
Deadline - 3 days
Budget - $5
This project will take about 30 hours to draft, self-edit, revise, and format for delivery. To complete this project in three days, I'd have to put in at least 10 hours a day for three days. The deadline does not include time for the client to review the drafted story or any time and effort needed to revise per the client's feedback. I don't know about you, but I can't write for 10 hours straight in a single day.
Can I produce 9,000 words of decent copy in three days? Yes, as a matter of fact, I can.
But I won't.
Let's look at the second request (the one on the right).
Project Scope - Editing
Length - 24,024 words
Deadline - 5 days
Budget $5 - $10
This project will around 16 hours to complete, so can I complete the project within the deadline? Yes. But I won't.
When writing a request to hire a writer or editor, be cognizant of what you're asking. If you post requirements that are unreasonable (e.g., writing 30,000 words in three days), then you're doomed to disappointment. If you post unreasonable budgets, then don't complain when you receive delivery of substandard and/or plagiarized work.
Just because I can do something, doesn't mean I should or will.
I wept yesterday.
Last week, we received a postage due envelope for the princely sum of $3.49 for a package from Catholic Central, the local parochial school. That's the school our children attended. Our older son, Matt, graduated from Catholic Central.
Yesterday, the package arrived. Curious, I opened it and saw handmade cards with short, sweet messages scrawled on folded copy paper by some children in the school's second grade class. Enclosed with the cards was a note from the assistant principal stating that the condolence cards were the product of the second grade's annual service project. The school inculcates community service to all its students, from volunteering at local food pantries to, apparently, expressions of sympathy.
The assistant principal likely remembers Matt, who graduated from Catholic Central in 2015. The second graders most certainly never met him.
I showed the cards and note to my husband. He wept, too.
As this horrible year marches on, we remember our son who died in January, we pine for his loss, and we pray for his peace. It helps to know that others pray for him, too, as well as for us. I am grateful for their prayers.
You've all seen a picture of it or done it: a person dipping a toe into the water to test its temperature. We do this when we're uncertain whether to proceed with an intended action. That uncertainty arises from anticipated discomfort.
I feel that way about writing now.
I still have stories in my head, but, for the most part, they don't stick. Like a flash of gold in a pan, the idea catches light then disappears never to be recaptured. I suppose I might take this as creativity beginning to bubble back up after its long hiatus. However, I don't know whether it will rise and fill the well again or whether it will seep out, unable to overcome the drain.
So, I'm not writing stories. Not yet, anyway.
I am writing articles. For some weird reason, writing nonfiction doesn't exhaust my mind like fiction now does. And I'm editing more and more: that's the side of my freelance business I've been working on, building.
I miss writing stories. I miss that excitement, that enthusiasm, that pleasure.
It's rather akin to how I miss riding. The past few years have not been kind to my equestrian enthusiasm. First, I retired my beloved Morgan mare. Then I made an incredibly poor decision in the purchase of a replacement horse. If you've read about my trials and travails with Diva, you know that bad history. (I did finally sell her in March.) Last year, I bought a kill pen pony, Teddy, who's coming along, but is showing some undesirable attitude: he bucks. He hasn't gone "bronco," but he has begun the last two rides (short, easy rides at the walk) with a buck. This cannot continue.
Granted, I'm not spending nearly as much time with him as I ought. The enthusiasm just isn't there. My friend Cindra has been tremendously helpful, practically injecting her enthusiasm into me by coming up to help me with him. A couple of other acquaintances have also offered, through Cindra, to assist with Teddy. I haven't taken them up on the offer.
So, recovery goes slowly and grief lingers. Mother's Day was difficult. My birthday was difficult. Father's Day next month will be emotional. For us, this is a year of dismal firsts: the first of everything after Matthew's death. It's a year that just hurts even as I am reminded to be grateful for the blessings I do have.
Be patient with me. Healing from tragedy takes a long, long time.