You’ve heard me fussing and lecturing. You’ve read Screw You! and Kathy’s outing of each pathetic job offer she comes across. You’ve read blog post after blog post deriding you, begging you, insulting you for taking any job that doesn’t pay you a fair rate for your skills. You think it’s because we don’t want you to waste your time and talent. That’s true, but the bigger reason I do it – I don’t want you screwing the rest of us out of a decent pay.
It was a commenter here who drove the point home. She said she’d given her price to a local client and the client’s response was to use those $4-10 a job postings as an example of why her fee was too high. That, my friends, is everyone’s problem. For now the annoyance has become a real problem that every single one of us is facing.
I know many writers believe that letting the writers with no scruples take these jobs is keeping them out of direct competition with the rest of us. I used to think that was true. Now, I’m seeing how the actions of the unsure are about to come crashing down on all of us.
So to my question up there in the title – how much do we owe the industry? From this chair, we owe it to ourselves and our own future earnings to take a hard stand against scam jobs and to take an even harder stand against writers who take these jobs. If we can’t convince them to have more pride, to earn more than minimum wage for skills others are getting hundreds an hour for, then we need to convince them that freelancing is not their industry. Sorry to say it, but there’s no longer any room in this field for people who devalue their own worth.
So educate your newbie peers, and even those who are thinking that cheap is all there is out there now. It’s not. It’s just what they’re finding because they aren’t marketing themselves but rather taking the passive approach and letting the jobs appear before them.
In just a few weeks, I’ll be holding the second annual Writers Worth Day, designed to help us recognize our value in the market and build our confidence and our cash flow. This year, I’m urging you with blogs to join me in spreading the word about the reality of these pseudo-jobs, minimum wage, and why writers can’t take it anymore.
Are you with me?