Money, Writing, Etc.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been keeping tabs on pragmatic Writing for Money articles on le web, and these are the must-reads I’ve come up with.

Of course, I always go for the snark.

Three from Nick Mamatas:

Freelance Writing Money, Part I: How To Find Freelance Writing Work:

Look for it.

In 2005, for the Prattshaw project Flytrap, I wrote an essay about freelance writing and suggested that if you could not make a living as a freelancer it is because your standards were too high, both for what counted as writing and what counted as a living. A couple of years later, a new science fiction writer (he’d debuted in Baen’s Universe) wrote me a letter of thanks. He happened to be reading the little zine in a hospital hallway while on the other side of the wall his wife was giving birth. At that moment, he decided to get together a few pieces of writing he’d completed in the hope of getting out of the job he had in a warehouse. He wrote to say that he credited my article with his new gig writing computer software manuals, which meant more money for his family.

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Freelance Writing Money, Part II: Writing For Non-Publication:

Be the writer in your social circle.

If you spend a lot of time hanging out with other writers, going to your little writer’s group, and not talking to anyone who isn’t fascinated with writing, writing, writing, you can stop reading now. Sucker.

Remember that our goal here is fast money for writing, not a living doing technical, business, or commercial writing, which is great and pays a lot (I have friends who bill $85-$125 an hour for pamphlets and such) because it just takes a long time to break in. And speaking of suckers, people have degrees in this dumb crap sometimes these days. Though, like a lot of computing gigs, business writing is one of the highly paid jobs that one can snag without a degree.

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And, of course, Freelance Writing Money, Part III OR Shocklines Post of the Day!, which is probably one of the better examples of “ads” you should avoid.

Here’s a recent post from John Scalzi’s Whatever:

Dear Writers: For God’s Sake, Don’t Assume You’ll Get Paid:

An interesting and frankly alarming thing in the comment thread of the last post. I noted in the last post that a major issue I saw with the proposed F&SF online writing workshop, which offers the chance that work in the workshop could get published in the magazine, is that there was no indication that those chosen stories would then be paid for. To which several people in the comment thread said something along the lines of “oh, well, that wasn’t a problem for me, because I just assumed there would be payment.”

Jesus, people.

Never assume as a writer that you’re going to get paid.

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And now for something not quite completely different: the Washington Post recent scandal about WaPo canceling their plan to get funding from, um, lobbyists.


From Mark Tisdale’s comment on the Whatever thread, here’s a YouTube clip from Dreams with Sharp Teeth, wherein Harlan Ellison talking about getting paid:

Addendum 2:

For people looking for much linked coverage of the WaPo scandal, Politics Daily has the scoop.