Sunshine & Chocolate & Everything Writing

Writing as if I have something to say.

  • October 2008
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Money, money, money… It’s not funny…

Posted by Line Larsen on October 11, 2008

Lately I have been attempting to earn some cash through Elance. It is great practice, both when it comes to doing projects and dealing with potential clients.

Let me tell you, though: Working as a freelance writer is no walk in the park. Poppy Z. Brite said: “If you’re a freelance writer and aren’t used to being ignored, neglected, and generally given short shrift, you must not have been in the business very long.”

So far the jobs I have received have been for wonderful and supportive people, don’t get me wrong. However, when it comes to the bids not awarded, I often end up feeling rejected. Many times a writing project isn’t given to a single one of the bidders, as the job was merely advertised to scout the market. This is wrong for two reasons: People use valuable work time bidding on the job at hand and they spend money doing so.

Nevertheless, that wasn’t the point of this little rant. It’s about money. Money is a bit of a dirty word to me, especially when used in the same sentence as writing. Of course I want to make a living off my art, who doesn’t. One can also argue that writing articles on the best fishing locations in Michigan is as far from art as you can possibly come. That is perhaps why I am distraught to find out that my artistic writing is worth zero dollars an hour and an article on a set topic is worth approximately seven dollars.

In other words… Not only is being a freelance writer grossly underpaid, it still pays far more than my novels or short stories ever will.

It really makes me wonder why so many people want to work with words. It’s badly paid, it’s not glamorous, it’s certainly not a speedy highway to fame. In fact, if you want to go from Writing to Fame, you have to cut your way through heavy forest, tackle robbing highwaymen and sprint like crazy to have a chance of getting there before the sun sets on you and your life.

I guess the answer is within me, since I am doing this despite everything, like so many others. It’s all we really want to do, all we ever imagined ourselves doing. And we have a stronger than life believe that it will somehow be worth it in the end.


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