Know When to Say No – Seeing a Bad Writing Job Coming

30 May


Every writer works for money. If you know a writer who doesn’t have an outside job and is working at writing as a business and they say that they aren’t working for the money…call BS. We all need to eat right? I admit it; I am in it to some degree for the cash flow. I have bills, and kids and bills and did I mention the kids? Living in today’s world requires that you have a certain cash flow; if you are making that cash flow with your writing well all the better then.

So how does one make money with their writing? The answer is as complicated as there are jobs out there for writers to do. I ghost write books and articles, I blog, I write ad copy, I do resumes, I write letters (both personal and business) and all while working on my own books which tend to sell pretty well. This is just a small list; it goes on and on. When you are a writer you have to take the work where you can get it until you start selling those blockbuster novels. Often times the work is there but it is small and it takes a lot of those little jobs to equal a paycheck from….say…7-11. The small jobs aren’t so bad until you discover that many of them end up being non-paying gigs. And to make matters worse, even some of the big writing jobs can turn out to be nothing but a solid waste of time.

Case in point…yesterday I received an e-mail from a potential client. I have ads up on job sites as well as my regular website and this blog offering my writing services. Now and again I get a bite on those sites and yesterday the potential client had been to my entire platform. They appeared to like what they saw in my work and were now offering me a 6 month writing job. At first I was thinking, “whoo hoo” but then I came back down to reality and started researching the client. What I discovered was that this writing job was not for me at all. Sure the money would have been good but the client was an intimacy coach who was requiring that the person hired be “comfortable” with fantasy. Turns out the job was ghosting a platform for a new writer but also someone who could (and would) “service” her other needs too. I’m getting married in 2 weeks and I don’t think I would have gotten this job by the spouse. I declined the job.

My point in sharing this is that there will be all kinds of writing jobs that come along but you have to be able to determine if they are the right job for you or if the person is honest enough to pay you in the end. Even more importantly you have to be able to turn down a job when your instincts tell you not to take it. Sure I could have used the money on that last one but I also want to go through with the wedding so…there was my decision. I still get taken from time to time and it is frustrating but over the years I have learned to weed out the bad ones. I do some online research and I ask a lot of questions before taking a job…I have to, my time is valuable and so is yours so take the time to really consider those jobs you take and listen to your inner writer…you will know when it’s good and when it’s not.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Posted by on May 30, 2023 in Business of Writing, Writing


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2 responses to “Know When to Say No – Seeing a Bad Writing Job Coming

  1. May 31, 2023 at 12:41 am

    I’m giggling…how on earth did such a service get tangled in with the same job request for a writer? Surely a separate “masseuse” would have been a better option for them?

    • thewritersadvice

      May 31, 2023 at 1:49 pm

      I know right? It was a bit of a shock to the system when I got the 3 page e-mail explaining the project and exactly what she was expecting from a “ghost writer”. This isn’t the first time however that I have come across a freelance job that has had more to it than freelancing if you know what I mean.


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