Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Are writers spoiled?

Today I turned in 10 short blog posts -- 125 words each -- and earned $50 for it.

As I wrote the stories I wasn't all that happy. Up until this year, I wouldn't have considered this type of content writing acceptable. I wrote for print, and earned $500 or more for my feature stories.

The economy has changed all that, and I'm experimenting, taking on online content work to scrape together a solid freelance income until the economy turns around and print magazines start hiring freelance writers again.

So, I wasn't thrilled with writing so many words for such little pay. Until I did some thinking. It took me an hour and 15 minutes to write my posts. They didn't require interviews or much research, and it's amazing how quickly you can get to 125 words. So that's more than $40 an hour. That's not bad.

And, really, how hard is that work, really? I'm sitting at a desk. I have a can of pop next to me. I have the Internet to distract me when I'm bored. It's not like I'm a police man or a firefighter or a construction worker. I'm a writer, not exactly dangerous, sweat-inducing work.

Maybe us writers are a bit spoiled. So we're writing more for less money these days. Heck, if you spend eight hours writing content stories and earning about $40 an hour, that's not a bad day's work. Yes, it's a bit mind-numbing, but try to complaining to a factory worker. Don't think you'll get much sympathy.


  1. Thanks for giving us a glimpse at the reality of freelancing/content writing and also for putting it in the proper perspective.

    You could have easily bitched and moaned about the reduced pay, but instead you appreciate that you're working and its what needs to be done in this economy.

    BTW I came across your blog from the AW forums.

  2. Hi, Gabriel:

    Thanks for your message, and for visiting. It is too easy to get depressed about the state of the economy. I think you summed it up well: At least I still have a job, right?