Friday, September 28, 2007

Less than what I'm worth

I spent this morning complaining about being offered two new freelance gigs...or, rather, being given the chance to take tests/do some kind of audition for two new freelance gigs. What's my problem? My problem is that my career seems to be going in the wrong freaking direction. It seems like every offer I get these days pays less than what I used to make...or even what I'm making today. And yet there are reasons not to turn them down flat, reasons to take the tests or do the spec work or whatever and see what comes of it. Still, how is it possible that, 20+ years down the line, I'm earning LESS per word, per hour, per week, per year, than I did when my career actually started to take off? How is it possible that someone with 20 years' experience in the writing and editing field can have to work two or three serious jobs to make enough to live on? (This is not about Baroy; comments about his work life are unwelcome at this point. This is about the fact that writers and editors get paid less and less each year, even before you do things like adjust for inflation. This is about the fact that I made $1 a word as a writer in 1988, and now have to fight for jobs that pay half that.)

[Stefania, Jess, I don't think this actually qualifies as a Life Change, but dang. It's definitely a Yearning for a Change. Does that count?]

6 comments:

Rich | Championable said...

Frustrating, to be sure.

Green said...

My guess, is that there are people who went to impressive colleges and majored in writing who are competing with people like me (but not specifically me) who have a blog and like writing it so accept writing jobs. Thus, people in charge of getting writers will look better to their bosses if it costs them next to nothing, than if they pay what it should cost to hire a professional writer.

I'm sorry you're having a hard time with this.

po said...

That totally sucks :(. I think it's indicative of what is and is not valued by people, on a societal level. The ability to put together words in an intelligent, creative, and interesting manner is not given the compensation it truly deserves.

Jessica Ashley (Sassafrass) said...

Darling, this counts. I hear you... I SO here you. Let's keep talking and support each other. Sometimes just saying it out loud makes all the difference.

Jessica Ashley (Sassafrass) said...

Oh gaw...what I meant was -- "I SO hear you." Oh la la. I will never freelance again if I keep up that crap grammar.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried technical/corporate writing? Pay seems to be much better there.