Read the business pages of any major daily newspaper and you’ll see another business going under – including massive layoffs in the newspaper business too. Yep. That’s right. Writers like you and me are feeling the pinch too. I’m freaking out. As a full time freelancer, I’m now struggling. My New Year began with a cold dose of reality when my full time freelance gig as a travel editor was cut back to two days per week. Apparently people aren’t traveling these days. Go figure!
So what does this all mean in terms of my writing life? Um, barely paying the rent, that’s what. And so, I’m trawling the job boards along with a zillion other people looking for writing gigs that pay more than 0.2 cents a word for 5,000 words per day. You think I’m kidding? Ha! Think again. I was so mad at that particular “job” offer that I sent an email to the poster asking him if he/she was insane (or words to that effect). As I have always noted: if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
However, I guess for some this is better than the “no pay but great exposure!” line. I’m exposed enough thank you very much. Why does everyone think that anyone can write for a living and therefore shouldn’t be paid for our services? (Insert hair-tearing-out sound effect here).
And so it’s onwards and upwards for moi. I wish I could say that because I’m job hunting, I’m not busy, but that would not be true. I’m completely swamped with work: Low paying work. An article here or there, raking in a few hundred measly bucks that are barely keeping my head above water. Then of course there’s the FREE work I do because of my obsessive commitment to citizen journalism, free of special interest groups and advertisers. And so, I am currently interviewing 17 – that’s right (write?) 17 city council candidates for two separate March 3 elections. Phew!
Unfortunately, that website is not paying yet, so if you want to support unencumbered journalism, and you live in Los Angeles, please check out The Beverly Hills Community News Project and The Westside Community News Project. We need your support!
In the meantime I’ve got to go work on some fiction. I’ve got 24 hours to complete a 24 hour writing competition. I’ll keep you posted.