Writers don’t write to become rich but after almost two decades of freelancing full time, I can tell you that those who ignore money do so at their own peril.
Because money gives you choices and the lack of it rips them away from you.
Imagine the scenario: You pitch a 1,000-word story that you care deeply about and an editor assigns it at $1 a word. You set about reporting the piece. You build relationships with sources, spend hours refining it and making it perfect, submit a near-perfect draft, and then… then you get back the edits. All your wonderful work has come to naught because the editor has sensationalized the title, deleted half the quotes, and reworked the piece to a point where it doesn’t even feel like yours anymore.
You now have two choices: You can have it published without a byline or you could walk away, pull your story, and start sending it out elsewhere. But if you’re a cash-strapped freelancer, you can’t walk away. Because this is $1,000. It’s rent money. Work you’ve already done, money you’ve already allotted to a future expense. If you walk away, you risk not being able to make that rent money back. So you take the money. You compromise. You lose creative control.
Further, when you’re depending on income from article and book contracts to feed your family, buy chew toys for the dog, and keep the liquor cabinet stocked, you lose negotiating power almost immediately because you’re less willing to walk away. Maybe if you had a good month, but what if you didn’t? What if you had a crappy, sucky, horrible month when that editor offers you less money for your second article than he did for the first? If your bills depend on that income, how quick are you going to be to say no?
The media world is changing. We need to be more aware of what’s going on with publishing, with writing, and with freelancing. We need to be able to experiment with nnew things that may or may not give us the income we need right away and for that, we need to build a bit of flexibility into our finances. If you’re going through each month barely paying the bills, it becomes really difficult to take a new idea and just run with it. But if you have that leeway, that little bit of flexibility, you can experiment with new ideas to see how they fit into your long-term career plan. If they don’t, you haven’t suddenly become homeless.
The result of how I navigated through this problem in my own career is my book The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making $1,000 More a Month. I used the techniques I share in this book to create that flexibility in my writing and eventually build up to a six-figure career.
If you want to make money, this book will help you do it.
Here’s what one reader says:
“I had mostly given up on building my freelance writing career. It seemed to require an enormous output of time spent on researching and marketing to the publications to which I hoped to submit, and very little input of money earned. Mridu’s book has made me rethink this decision. She has shown me how it is possible to actually make decent money as a freelance writer.” – Caroline Everson
Get it here: