They say that the best way to learn is by doing. They also say that hands-on experience is the most memorable and valuable. Lastly, they say (who is “they”, anyways?) that if you want to know how a man feels, walk a mile in his shoes.
That’s why I think every writer out there should write 500 words for $2.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ll be the first to stand up and say that those wages are absolutely ridiculous for writers. We should war against sweatshop wages and promote value for effort.
But I’ll also be the first to say that writing a run of cheap articles is a learning experience that can’t be beat. You gain a deeper understanding of the struggles some people face. You’re in a better position to provide help and change by this new vision. Your writing takes on a new level of consciousness.
Even if you currently earn $500 for 500 words, my suggestion is to go the other extreme for a time. Writing cheap articles can:
- Teach you what it’s like to work hard for almost nothing.
- Give you a better understanding of just how tough some writers have it
- Gain a deeper sympathy for writers caught in the cheap article cycle
- Understand the value of what you do for a living
- Increase your credibility because you’ve been where others are
One of the reasons I can stand up today to write about how to improve a freelance writing career is because I’ve been in the cheap article camp. I used to write those $2 articles, and they provided me with valuable knowledge about myself, my ability, my talents and my self-worth.
I can honestly say I know how hard it is to work and get a handful of change back. I understand the challenges on a personal level through hands-on experience. I know how discouraging that life of cheap work can be, and how many writers feel unable to step out of that rut.
And I’m thankful. If it wasn’t for those $2 articles, I might not be where I am today. I wouldn’t be able to tell other people, “I know, because I’ve been there. And I am proof there’s a better way of doing things.” No one can say I don’t know how they feel or that I can’t relate.
You can work to create change, too. Come down to where other writers are in their career. Live the struggles they live. Learn the challenges, experience the hardships and understand the cycle of poverty some writers face each and every day.
You’ll discover valuable lessons, better experience and a deep empathy that lets you help other writers rise above the rut of low wages.
Disclaimer: I do not want to promote low wages, nor do I want to feed the cheap article machine. I understand my suggestion does give that machine a temporary mouthful, but the point is to find ways to gain understanding and knowledge to help others. Get in, learn, and get out. Then help others get out, too.