Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Will Write for Dog Food

I love to write, but I love to get paid even more. Now I never expected to become a millionaire overnight from my freelance writing, but heck, I DID expect to be able to feed my dogs with my few pennies per click. With print publications going down the tubes these days, I am finding it increasingly difficult to make a living. One of the ezines I have diligently written for the last 12 months has not paid me in 6 months. Yup, not one penny in 2009 for my hard work. Needless to say, I caught on in about 3 months and no longer write for these individuals.

Oh I'm sorry that you can't drum up any advertisers. Not my problem. You entered into an agreement with me that you would pay me Net 15, yet that's not happening. And oops, you have hidden your company so well on multiple Caribbean islands and in off shore banks that I have little chance of even suing you for the monies owed. What was really a slap in the face was when you attempted to hire me as a sales associate so that I would find the advertisers myself(so that I could eventually be paid for my articles.) That was insulting. And for the record, I am not a sales person, er uh I AM a writer.

Next came a Texas firm that burst onto the scene with a contract and big promises. I took the bait and wrote 4 feature articles as well as numerous supporting photographs with the promise that these would be paid net 30. First publication was expected to occur mid June. Then it was pushed to early July, then late July. So once again, hours and hours of research, writing, photo shoots, transportation costs, groceries (several recipes involved)were all done for nothing. Zip. Nada.

Do these same publishers expect to get by with not paying their rent, mortgage, electric bills or internet service? Obviously not. But somehow, they manage to sleep at night leaving their writers in the lurch. Do they think this is a hobby, just something we do in our spare time. Do they assume we have some high-paying full time job with benefits and we don't need their spare change to buy food and medicine?

I'm frankly stunned by the way the industry has turned on those individuals who make their publications possible. I've decided that if my dogs ever will get fed again, I will have to write my own contract. Yeah, that might just be the answer. Demand 50% upon receipt of the article. Then I can at least sustain my household while I wait for the other 50% net 30.

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