Something has got to be done about the growing epidemic of employers robbing writers blind for their art!

Writing is not easy. OK, technically writing any old thing IS easy, but writing good quality, engaging and well structured content – is not a quick five minute sit down job. If you think it’s easy, then that’s because you’ve read some amazing writing by someone who makes it LOOK easy.

Firstly there has to be a writing job available. Then you have to apply for it (imagine having to write 6 or more application forms every single day just to be able to go to work), that is if the work isn’t coming to you, then you have to wait (hours, days, weeks) to hear back about whether you’ve won the bid or not, and if you have, then you can begin negotiating a rate, before getting underway. Begin by finding out exactly what the task master is after, thoroughly research the subject, then there has to be the creative spark there, the inspiration, the words need to come out, will they be right first time? Highly unlikely, which leads us to the editing, can this be condensed? Should I extend this bit? The re-editing, the feedback, the changes, agonising over every paragraph, every sentence, every word, to make sure that you’ve done the best damn job you can do; you’re professionalism, your reputation is on the line with every single word; does this sound like a quick process to you? (If you’re saying yes, kindly give yourself a slap, read this article I found which describes this annoyance perfectly, and then come back to me).

So why do more and more people believe it to be acceptable to pay less than 1p per written word? Are you frickin’ kidding me??

At this current point in time, writing for a living is my life line. I was made redundant last month so I don’t have regular money coming in. Until such time as I am back in employment, I have been trying to make what I can through my passion, writing.

But just because it’s my passion, (that whole process up there – I love that) but it doesn’t mean it’s any less of a talent, less valuable and less worthy of earning me a wage.

So far I have made £50 from two projects which for reasons such as country time differences, feedback from higher up and the likes, took over five days to complete.

Writing well is an essential form of communication for the world we live in. If writers were to take the stand they should and each vow to uphold the integrity of writing by charging the wage the talent deserves, then the world would be a more creative and well versed place to live. Imagine the works that could be produced if writers’ didn’t have to limit their creativity due to it being undervalued and underpaid.

Take these writing proposals for example:

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 12.07.26

The first we see a request for a fiction writer to produce an e-book of 10,000 words for £347 (oh, little tip: not the whole £347 will even be seen by the writer). Which purely on a word-count rate equates to £0.03p per word. Don’t forget that process I told you about earlier now. £347 still seem like a lot for the work?

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 12.12.19

This second proposal is for another e-book this time at around 15,000 words for £174. This equates to £0.01p per word. Now. This proposal has also specifically asked for research of between 30-50 hours to be undertaken by the writer – within the £147. Yes you are reading these correctly. Again, don’t forget the rest of the writing process which also takes place to get the work completed.

Exploitation at its best. I think you’d agree.

As you can also see from the screen shots, people have bid for these jobs! Which means this ’employer’ will not know the bare faced cheek of an offer they are proposing – because there will always be someone who is willing to do the work for that pitiful cost.

It is not worth the time it would take for me to bid for those jobs. As much of a bloody good job they would get from me, they can’t afford me at those prices, and frankly the people who are willing to bid for those roles – are either letting the side down, or not worth more. Harsh but true.

Yes I need work, yes I need the money they are offering, but no I will not lower my own regard for my writing abilities, apply for such a degrading amount and give my best job to someone who doesn’t even understand the art that is writing.

Want an e-book to sell well, get someone with integrity and self-worth to write it well.

Have you had a similar experience in trying to get writing work? What are your thoughts on this matter?

Until next time.


9 thoughts on “The Writer’s Life. What do I look like, a chump?

  1. I haven’t had to deal with this myself but a have multiple artist friends who have to deal with people who expect them to do art and design for projects for free until the project starts making money. An “I owe you” situation. Sometimes they aren’t getting paid money at all and they are told that they are getting paid in exposure. It is all very sad.

    • Yes, you’re right artists do have to deal with the same problem. My husband is a designer who when asked to drop his price as ‘they can get it cheaper elsewhere’ will gladly tell them that’s fine, they can go elsewhere for cheaper but you get what you pay for. He’s had numerous clients ‘come back’ because they tried elsewhere and weren’t happy with the results. Thanks for reading Rachael x

  2. This reminds me of a Sainsburys supermarket recently asking an artist to “volunteer” their skills to paint the cafeteria, in return they get “exposure”. It’s too easy for companies to exploit those in the art business because they take for granted artists are desperate for exposure, and will work for free. This needs to stop :/ you’re right, writing takes A LOT of skill, I don’t think I could earn an income from it. All jobs need to be protected and treated with respect!

    • How terrible – especially when a company like Sainsbury’s will be more than able to pay someone for their service – it’s not like they’re a charity with little money! No, you’re right, companies will keep doing it when people will keep bowing down to them. I’d love to work purely as freelance writer, unfortunately I just can’t afford it. Thanks for reading Eleanor x

  3. I am a writer too. Very good post. It is all about to keep up your self-worth. If writing is your passion, then you should keep doing it for the sake of joy and passion and wellbeing. If a deal does not FEEL good it certainly is not good. This is why my choice was self-publishing. Have patience with yourself ( not with the companies, because there are LOADS of them) and stick to that what you love to do and to the person “Who you really are”, meaning for example that if once you have the idea to write the book you always wanted to write, you will feel that you had a success already because you just did that. Your talent is already your (inner) wealth. Don´t give up, you will find the right way, people and circumstances, to be paid good for that what you love to do.Best regards

  4. I am shocked at the exploitation inherent in those advertisements. Writing is not just a skill, it is an art form. So many people believe they can do it well, who cannot. (I try in my blog but am painfully aware of my shortcomings.)Those who can, deserve to be paid very well for their time and skill, not to mention for their ideas and insight. I hope the situation gets better for you, Lisa.

    • And that’s just a sample. The amount of adverts for writers I see that say ‘I don’t see this taking long so it should be a quick job’ – means straight away they have no idea what goes into good writing, but again, because there are those willing to do these jobs at these low prices, means writing isn’t getting the validation it deserves. The struggle continues!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.