"My roommate at the time had just purchased a new copy of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and was really looking forward to a fun-filled weekend of dragon-slaying," he says. "The problem was that he had an economics paper due the following Monday, and hadn't started it because he was too busy over the previous few weeks doing things that weren't his paper. He explained this predicament to me while we were in the drive-thru line at a McDonald's. I jokingly replied by saying, 'Give me fifty bucks, and I'll write it for you.' He replied by telling me that if I agreed to do it, he would stop at an ATM on the way home."
Joe turned down the first offer to pay him in gold and bear pelts.
Joe weighed the price of his integrity against his desire for his own copy of Skyrim, and it didn't take long for him to make his decision. After all, his roommate assured him "[the] professor only assigned it out of a university policy [that] was really only looking to see if you can write in English coherently." Besides, the people of Skyrim were counting on them to take care of its dragon problem. Pretty soon, word of Joe's services spread, and he developed the kind of regular clientele that a legitimate freelancer writer would kill for: