Thurs. May 24: Writers Worth, Writing, and Weekend Prep

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Sunny and foggy and pleasant (all at once)

I was felled by a migraine for most of yesterday, so I wasn’t online much. I didn’t get a chance to send you over to the Writers Worth Week post of the day, which is Peter Bowerman’s terrific article about “deserving” or not deserving to make $5 to $10 an article. Peter’s inspiration helped give me the courage to make the leap. He’s always got something great to say, and this is no different.

Today’s post is by the wonderful Cathy Miller on a Freelance Writers’ Dictionary, which is awesome.

Took my mom to the eye doctor — her eyes are healing well, and she’s allowed to drive again. It will be good for her to gain back her independence.

Revised six chapters of the book — only 10 more to go. I’m not cutting enough yet, and that concerns me. I’ll have cut close to 8K in the draft, but a lot more needs to go. Worked on my article. Waiting for quotes. Did some more PR for my classes. Spent time with students. I REALLY need the upcoming holiday weekend break, and I intend to enjoy it thoroughly. I plan to spend a lot of time in the garden, a lot of time reading and writing, and very little time online!

I read Garry Marshall’s new memoir, MY HAPPY DAYS IN HOLLYWOOD, which reminds me of the good things about the business. And I read an anthology created by Mercedes Lackey called LAMMAS NIGHT, which is outstanding — some of the best short stories I’ve read in ANY genre. The controllers of the purse strings might be bitching and moaning that the paranomal/urban fantasy market is glutted, but there’s always a hunger for outstanding fantasy. This volume was published in 1996, and it’s as relevant today as when it was published — maybe even more so.

Don’t forget to vote on Facebook, on Saturday the 26th, for the National Marine Life Center in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program. Winning that Highlander would be fantastic!

Yoga was great this morning, but boy were we worked hard!

Have a GREAT memorial day weekend, people! I’ll put up the link — I’m the featured guest on Words on the Page to wind up the two Writers Worth Weeks tomorrow — and then I’ll see you again on Tuesday!

Devon

Don’t forget the Setting Up Your Submission Systems Workshop on June 2, online. Far too many submissions go unread and automatically rejected because writers don’t submit properly. Learn how to avoid that, and set up a system that makes submissions a breeze! Information and registration here.

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.