The vulgarity of writing for money

aka: “I Was Paid $12.50 An Hour To Write This Story


Writing is my hobby by Charles Jeffrey Danoff. (Creative Commons)












Step inside the heart of the beast with this article about freelance writing by Noah Davis at The Awl. It dissects the ‘Holy Grail’ – trying to make money by writing online. (Ja, ja, I know we’re doing it for the love, but somethings got to keep the sharp-toothed, foul-breathed wolf at bay.)

Writes Davis: “I didn’t know what I would get paid to write this article. I didn’t ask. It doesn’t matter. It won’t make a tangible dent in paying the rent on my apartment in Brooklyn, or, for that matter, rent on an apartment in any other city. By the time I finish the research, the interviews, the writing, and the editing, whatever small sum—$30, $125, $200—this site pays me will pale in comparison to the effort. It’s not “worth it” in a traditional monetary sense. I’m doing it for exposure (maybe hire me?), because I’m interested in the topic, and because it’s immediately relevant to my so-called career as a freelance writer. With apologies to H.L. Mencken, this really isn’t about the money.”

And by way of introduction I’m the admin around here. Hello. Hope you’re all comfortable and happy. Well comfortable at least. Happy may just be a bridge too far. Shout if there’s anything I can do to help make you more comfortable at Periodic Composition. The happiness stuff you’ll have to sort out for yourself – and if you do, let me know.


One comment

  1. I really find myself to be an exception in this debate. So many people write for the love of it. Yet I have no such urges whatsoever. I don’t have a blog, I don’t keep a journal and ‘words that have to come out!’ never enter my head. I write for cash. It will never make me rich. But working in an office didn’t make me rich either – and never would have unless I got an MBA, played golf and figured out how to acquire a piece of a company’s shareholding pie. Screw that for the workaholic A-types. At least this way I can indulge my real passions, since I am not slave to 9-to-5 expectations. Like today – today I’m not writing shit. I’m drawing pictures of candy floss.

    But I guess I’m fortunate as well. Writing is not my passion, so I do not mind whoring it out. It must be a little soul destroying for someone who wants to write that great novel, but keeps shoveling crap about ’10 Ways To Have A Great Pregnancy’.

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