Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Support Writers Worth Day

I'll take a break from Switzerland for a moment to let any writers and bloggers out there know about what's coming up on Friday. May 15 is Writers Worth Day. Spread the word. If you post about it on your blog, you can even win an amazon gift certificate by linking back to Words on the Page, which is a blog about the writing life by Lori Widmer, a veteran writer and editor.

Widmer, founder of Writers Worth Day, says, “Writers Worth Day was established in response to the increasing amount of job postings that offer little, if any, compensation for the amount of work expected.”

While I don't answer postings like this, I'm always amazed at the number of requests I get that ask if I can share my blog posts on another site or write a piece for free in exchange for "exposure." Please. It's one thing if I had something to sell. But it's another when what I'm selling is my writing. These publications and editors claim to have no budget and expect me to feel sorry for them. I don't.

As a writer, I don't work for free. And neither should you. Because it only ends up hurting all of us in the end. Writers make little enough as it is. We need to stand up for ourselves and "just say no." It worked for drugs. It can work for us too.

If you've got a great blog post or a great idea or a great essay, it will sell. You just have to be patient and keep trying. Giving things away for free is not the answer. If someone wants to use your blog material on another site, do what the professionals do and ask for a reasonable syndication fee. Or don't do it. It's not worth it to let dreams of Google Ad money (which will amount to probably 2 cents) get in the way of the future of the writing profession.

I can see it now, the procession of writers becoming IT professionals just so no one will ever ask them to work for free again. All the content we'll see on the Internet will be written by those with a terrible command of grammar but a great appetite for exposure. But the writing will be so bad, everyone will stop reading. And then where will that leave us?

To read more about Writers Worth Day and more about why writing for free is detrimental, visit the official press release.


Lori said...

Chantal, thank you SO much! I appreciate the shout out, the link love, and the support for the cause that affects us all.

The problem I see is not so much the crap job postings, but the writers who actually TAKE these jobs. That's the part we can help change, for lousy job offers will always exist as long as someone expects something for nothing. You can't change human nature, but you can maybe persuade one more person to value his or her talents and demand a fair wage.

I told you in email, you're now in my blog family. :) I'm fiercely loyal to my family, too! :)

Young Traveler said...

Thanks Chantal! You're awesome!

Chantal said...

Thanks, fellow writers, for your support!

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