In addition to my poker articles, blogs, social media postings, and various other odd freelancing jobs I have been getting en masse, I was contacted by a wonderful new grad student client in search of a research paper. Now, for six long years I was a professional plagiarist, penning research papers for college and grad students (and even taking a few online courses for some of them.) I had written so many papers that I had, essentially, burned myself out like a red light bulb in Amsterdam.
I counted once (as I keep every one of my “babies” preserved for posterity) and have written—including my own college and grad school assignments—more than 4,000 papers. Yes, seriously. On a variety of topics too: my majors criminal justice and homeland security as well as psychology, sociology, medical, history, pop culture, women’s studies, Jewish studies, aircraft security and safety, current events, and many, many, many more. I’ve written two complete master’s theses for others (which is rather humorous as I attended grad school in 1994-1995 but failed to graduate because I didn’t complete my own thesis due to the birth of my first amazing daughter.) I did return to grad school in 2011 and finally obtained my MSCJ.
But I digress.
I was initially hesitant to take on this project, feeling that I was out of practice; however, as the topic was one with which I am intimately familiar, I decided to give it a go. Another potential red light (different than the aforementioned example) was the client’s budget. I normally charge much more than she had offered, but I liked her and wanted to help. Long story short, I’m so glad I took on the project. She and I have much in common and—as an added bonus—I get to write two more papers for her.
So, what’s your point, Natalie? I’m glad you asked. My point is that writing a research paper is like riding a bicycle. I wasn’t out of practice. In fact, the process was so smooth it was as though I hadn’t taken the last three years off from academic writing. But do I want to write another 4,000 papers in six years? HELL, no! Just sayin’.
“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” ~Wernher von Braun