I’ve been thinking a lot about choices lately. Those of you who have been following this blog for a while, know that there are times when I don’t agree with some writers’ choices. However, I’ve always respected these choices. If I see something I feel is unfair I’ll call attention to it, but I still respect a writer’s choice to make his own decision. It has nothing to do with “empowering” you to do better because we present you with the tools to achieve whatever level of writing and pay you wish to achieve every single day. It’s not about tough love or slapping you into reality, because we’re all adults and I don’t believe in talking down to adults…or children for that matter.
There’s something more to it though.
I grew up the fourth of six children. My mother was an assistant English professor and my father was a librarian. Both of these were very low paying careers and we had very little money growing up. But you know what? We were all happy. We had a good childhood. We didn’t have riches and we didn’t have the fancy toys and electronics our friends had, but we had a good life. Many people looked down at my parents for not dropping the jobs they loved to make a better life for us, but they were happy. We were happy. They were making an honest living and they taught us a thing or two about the important things in life.
I don’t knock an honest living. In this economy people do what they have to in order to put food on the table. If that means taking an entry level writing job instead of robbing banks and stealing from neighbors, I respect that choice. It’s not lazy to take an entry level writing job, not when you’re putting in eight good hours of work and have a tidy pay check to show for it. Your choice may not be my choice but I will always respect your decision. Sometimes if there’s something I don’t agree with, I’ll speak up about it, but I hope I never make anyone feel bad about their choices and if I ever did this in the past I’m very sorry. Though I’ve tried it (and failed miserably) in the past, the tough love approach isn’t me. However, if it’s your thing, I can recommend plenty of writing experts who would like to tell you how wrong you are for making an honest living or not making the choices they feel you should make.
I’m not for low pay. I’m not for no pay. I know writers can earn thousands of dollars for one article if they hit the right niche and market. I will always encourage you to reach for the stars. However, I also know writers make the decision that will pay the bills, or they will work at jobs they enjoy, even if those jobs don’t pay thousands of dollars for a piece of writing. It’s your choice. You’re making an honest living. I have nothing but respect for you and your choice.