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Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Dealing with money

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


You hate to talk about it - unless, of course, you're making piles of the stuff. Or, perhaps, unless someone has stiffed you.

John Scalzi ain't doing too bad on the money front these days, but even he admits that it's not all a bed of roses. This morning he offers up 10 bits of Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money. He's spot on here.

When I first started freelancing I was surprised to see how much time I spent on non-writing activities. Sure, research is related to writing, but slogging down to the library doesn't pay the bills. There's no pay for the time it takes to chase down clients who haven't paid on time, nor are those hours I spend on books (that's financial books) billable.

I especially like #9, regarding placing a value on your work. He's right. So many people take less than they're worth. I'm very guilty of that. Yet, taking five bucks less per hour than what I prefer to make doesn't seem as bad as writing for three cents a word - or five bucks for something that takes an hour to produce. He's right. People have undervalued writers for years, and will continue to do so. The pay sucks. There are slack times when I could make more money flipping burgers.

So what do I do? Keep plugging away. Things will improve. If there's one thing I have learned over the years, it's that this business - at least the type of freelance work that I do - is very cyclical. Some years are better than others. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my income went up last year. It didn't seem like it, probably because of rising energy costs.

Man, that's almost a depressing subject for a Monday, isn't it?

And how's your Monday?

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Filed under: Writing            
2/11/2008 9:57:50 AM
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