Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Days I hate being a freelance writer...

Usually, I love that I am a writer. I enjoy putting those words to the paper and creating something new. Sometimes, freelance writing can become a bit boring, especially if I am writing about something that I am not particularly interested in...all for that pay check at the end...but most of the time, I enjoy it.

And what's not to love. Not only to I get to put word to paper and try to craft something exceptional (which doesn't always happen) but I also get to research. I'm probably a complete nerd since I love learning new things and chasing down facts but it is one of the facets of freelance writing that I really enjoy.

The one thing that I hate about freelance writing is chasing the pay check. It is a necessary evil, no work, no money, no money and I have to go find a real job (lol). I have been very fortunate with work. I have found some great clients, and I have had a lot of short term contracts but I still have to put in the time to get those clients and when one doesn't work out, I kind of feel like I'm not good enough.

I know there are 1000's of other writers out there looking for work so I shouldn't feel too bad but sometimes I get very frustrated, especially when writers are offering only 3 bucks per article. For one point, why bother asking for pay at that point and for the other, how can you feel good about what you do when you only charge that much.

This last week, I had a potential client pursuing me pretty relentlessly. I opened up my email to find 4 emails from her over a course of an hour pushing to get going on a project that I hadn't officially accepted yet. I have to admit that the tone of the emails, and everything else made me hesitant to work for the client but I continued with the negotiating phase since I enjoy the content she wanted. I also felt that maybe after I had ironed out the specifics of the contract, everything else would calm down.

The client came back with different word counts and asking me how much each would cost. I stayed pretty firm on my quote but at times, I actually undercut myself because I started worrying about charging too much. Then I found out that instead of going with me, the client chose a writer that was only charging 75 dollars for 25 articles. I'm fine that the client chose someone else but I felt that flush of frustration over the whole thing.

I think it has more to do with how the client pursued me and then how they decided that I just wasn't cheap enough. I can't understand how anyone can expect a well written article for that low of a price and even a seasoned writer with tons of experience and thousands of awards would skimp on a job that was only paying them 3 dollars an article. You would want to get at least 3 written in an hour to feel like you were making at least minimum wage and with research, writing and revisions that just wouldn't happen. Not to mentioned a seasoned freelance writer isn't about to take a position for that low.

Oh, well, to each their own and as a potential client once said to me after offering me only 7 dollars per 1000 word article, "I used to pay $4 for articles but I had to stop because I got what I paid for."

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