Writer’s Worth Day

Lori Widmer declared today Writer’s Worth Day.

That means, if you call yourself a writer or want to call yourself a writer, it’s time for some tough love and reassessment.

The reality: If you take those jobs that pay crap for a large number of articles, the likelihood that you will make a living wage in this business is very small. There are always exceptions, but if you really are that brilliant, your samples (even if you’ve never published, you can create samples) are good enough to land you a decent wage. If you think you can use these mass-produced articles as clips to get higher-paid work, those potential employees will laugh you right out of the arena.

If you have no confidence yet, you’re better off starting out for small, local publications that are looking for local coverage and/or taking on a cause or local non-profit on as a PRO BONO client and building legitimate clips that way.

A single newsletter for a legitimate organization like the American Cancer Society or your local animal shelter will garner you more paying jobs than 100 web “articles” for which you were paid $10. When you look at jobs, you need to consider the legitimacy of the employer.

If you have no self-respect, if you can live off a partner’s wage and you want to “play” at being a writer, go ahead. Write for these mills who pay crap and who publish crap. And that’s where your career will stay. In the crapper.

If you want to actually build a legitimate career so you don’t have to work in someone else’s cubicle and you’ll be hired by companies for whom you’d actually like to work, network with other LEGITIMATE freelancers (who hang out in places like Anne Wayman’s About Freelancewriting, Absolute Write, Writers’ Weekly, Funds for Writers, etc. Read Peter Bowerman’s book THE WELL-FED WRITER, and visit his blog, linked to the right of this post. See what professionals with self-esteem and a sense of their own abilities are doing to make a reasonable living in this game.

If you don’t respect your work, why should anyone else?

Show a little self-respect. Charge a fair rate, and you’ll get an employer who values you, and work that’s good enough to launch you onto the next wage platform.

Devon

Note: Racing Ink will appear here later today. Regular “Ink in My Coffee” postings will resume either the 18th or 19th of May.

6 Comments

  1. Hear hear! Thank you for helping spread the word, Devon. If it saves one person from wasting a career, our work has been worth it!

  2. Wise words. You are awesome, Devon! Although I’m sad we don’t get to hear about YOU for a few days!

    Have a wonderful weekend! XOXO

  3. Excellent advice! 🙂 Happy Friday, by the way, and hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Now then, Devon. Don’t get holding back, no need to mince words. You just come right on out and say what you mean … after all, you do it so well. :o) Great stuff. Oh, and I’m “back”, btw.

  5. Good advice and suggestions!

  6. You are amazing. This is great advice. And just really good common-sense. Thanks for sharing.


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