Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Life of a Freelance Writer...

.... is a lot less of this:

.... and a hell of a lot more of this.

As a freelancer, you're seen as a bottom feeder - the lowest of the low. It's a frustrating existence. Particularly if you absolutely love writing and enjoy putting articles together. Thing is, because you're right at the bottom of the food chain, you're the last to get fed, and often, what gets fed to you are scraps.

I have written for free (that's exactly what I am doing right now) and I've written for money. When you write for free, you know there's no cheque. When you write for money you're never sure when the cheque is coming. Clients promises are usually empty and it's a rare publication indeed that pays the invoice when it is due.

It's though I am expected to see the fact that my article is accepted and will be published as recognition enough and that the money is just a little 'extra something', due and payable whenever the Goddess Editor deigns to bless me with the cheque.

Editorial staff never communicate adequately with the freelancer. Sketchy briefs (if I am lucky enough to even get one) and re-writes are the order of the day.

And it's not as though someone is going to happen upon my blogs and declare me the new literary genius of the decade either.

But seriously, is it too much to ask? A little respect and communication?

I know I'd like to give it all up and walk briskly away into the comfort of my 'real' job. But I know I will be back like a junkie looking up her old dealer for a fix. That's why I make nice with the editor, smile and thank her for the bag of shit I have just been handed, deceptively wrapped with an elegant ribbon. Shit in a bag, though, is still shit.

Today, though, I'd like to give writing the middle fingered salute.


  1. I didn't realise you wrote for money, and I can imagine that it's fraught with problems!

  2. Yup. Among other things I try to do for money. I also work with my wife in her business - that's the day job. And then... in about 8 years time - Chiropractor!