I like to think of myself more of an optimist than a pessimist. I could be wrong, but I think that’s a trait that could influence the success of a freelance writer. After all, you need a certain degree of positivism to take that leap – leave your regular day job pay and strike out on your own. There are times, however, when all this freelancing business gets to me. I know I should not complain. This is, after all, what I had been aspiring for while I was still a corporate drone. This was – and is – my [Read more…]
There is perhaps no other topic in the freelance writing world that generates more controversy than the concept of writers writing for free. Bring it up and lines in invisible sand are drawn, commenting spikes and in the case of Harlan Ellison, a few F-bombs are dropped. It’s understandable. Shady publishers and editors prey on vunerable writers who want to see their names in print. Writers are constantly burned by “write for free now and earn later” promises in which “later” never comes. However, in the angry buzz of the debate something gets lost. Choice and education. There will always [Read more…]
I couldn’t resist it. The Gawker article or the pun in my subheading. Normally, I ignore the good old writer vs editor vs Twitter and Facebook trolls vs media snapshot thing. Or I read it, giggle, and move on with my real work. Today I couldn’t walk away from the trainwreck. The editor for Cooks Source so brazen, the topic too juicy and, well, it’s Friday, I’m always down for a bit of fluff. If you haven’t heard, Gawker has a fantastic post about a writer who found out her article was lifted from the original site it was published [Read more…]
I’ve chopped off my finger. I’ve betrayed my friend. I’ve pulled the plug. I took the gold and ran.
I bet you’ve done it, too. Maybe you’ve stayed pure in ways that I haven’t, but you’ve compromised your responsibilities. You’ve done something short of your best work. You’ve pandered to an audience, to a client, or to your own writing vanity. You’ve made your deals with devils, even if your devils are incredibly cute and small.
If you haven’t, I bet you will. Someday.
Goddamn money. It always ends up making you blue as hell. —Holden Caufield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye Summer is over. Vacation is over. The Royals are buried. One kid is in school and the other is in daycare. Things are normal. Scratch that last one. Things are never normal. Case in point: J.D. Salinger’s toilet. I made the hideous mistake of watching television news this morning. A story about the place where the super-reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye once did his business somehow managed more airtime than the ugly suicide bombing in Iraq, the trickle-shallow [Read more…]
The content site discussion is getting old. Some freelance writing bloggers see the merits, others don’t, and neither the twain shall meet. What strikes me about the content site debate is that we focus on one or two evil sites as if they’re the only problem. If we’re going to be discussing the best places for freelance writers to work and caution them against certain other opportunities, I personally feel that there are worse places and those are the ones we should be discussing. When we debate content, we generally focus on two main issues; pay and poorly written content. [Read more…]
Not everything about freelance writing is bunny slippers and bon bons. Sure, we have the best life. We have flexibility and the abililty to work anywhere we please, pick and choose our own clients and set our own rates. With all the perks, freelance writing also has a dark side. We already explored what happens when clients don’t pay in a previous “Dark Side” post. Today we’re going to discuss another topic we don’t touch on enough here at FWJ, burnout. What is Freelance Writing Burnout? I think every freelancer has experience burnout at one time or another. For me, [Read more…]
We often talk of the benefits of freelance writing, extolling on its flexibility and comfort. Something we don’t cover enough is what I call the “dark side” of freelance writing including scammers and non payers. One thing I learned over the years is how so many freelancers are embarrassed after being “stiffed” and don’t want to admit they’d been had. I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of. The more we talk about these situations, the more ammunition we have to protect ourselves against unsavory clients. Here’s a question for you: What do you do if a client doesn’t [Read more…]