Writing for Money by Christine Duncan

I think that my biggest problem with writing for places like Amazon Turk is that so many people are giving it away.  I think as writers we need to decide what our time and our craft is worth and stick to that.

On  Turker websites where workers discuss what they should be paid, there are two distinct groups.  One group is adamant that writers should not work for less than a penny per word.  The other group takes the stand that since they are working from home, without the wardrobe, transportation or other requirements of a “real” job , that this is really found money like the quarter you pick up from the sidewalk on your way to the car. Their idea is that as long as you have the freedom to work on whatever they want on Turk, then whatever they are paid is fine. Requesters then see no need to pay a decent amount as they can get workers without doing so.

It’s  not a new debate to the writing community. I remember being told that in order to get clips, I should be willing to work for free. I thought then, as I do now, that this is wrong. Our work is real and should be adequately compensated–and people who think of it any other way are making it harder for the rest of us.

End of rant.  Sigh.


One response to “Writing for Money by Christine Duncan

  1. Well, once again, you’ve given me something to think about, Christine! I guess I would have to say that, for me, some writing is fine to do for free but other writing is not. I do “volunteer” writing, and it seems fine to me to do that. But I’m not in any sense competing with anyone, and also I think it is helping me get to be a better writer, especially by learning what people do and don’t respond to. And most bloggers are giving it away there, too, but again that’s about developing as a writer and a person. I don’t believe I’d ever undercut someone who was doing the sort of writing that ought to be for pay. It is definitely skilled labor and should be compensated as such. So then it becomes a question of which things are really “volunteer” gigs and which are for pay and should be fairly compensated. If someone is benefiting monetarily from my writing, they should really be willing to pay a fair price for it, I’d say.

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