I don’t only write novels, I also freelance as many writers do. Let’s be honest, while it would be awesome to be able to live of those book royalties, it is rare that it actually works out that way. Many writers take side work, editing, ghosting, article writing…and yes I do all of that and more. While freelancing helps pay the bills there is a bit of frustration that comes with it as well…those clients who don’t think they have to pay for your work.
Over the years I have had some great clients. In fact, I am the type of writer that many of my long term clients have actually become a part of our family as well. I enjoy the connections that I make and I value those I work with. Writing together is an intimate process – I don’t know how you couldn’t become personally involved. Having said that though, the other side of the coin are those people who hire me and then decide at some point that they don’t have to pay up when the work is completed…that is frustrating.
Writing takes time…lots and lots of time. As a writer I often work late into the night and through weekends. I put my clients before family if there is a deadline looming and I make myself available 24-7. I am personally invested in the work I do and I always strive to do the very best job I can. But this is what makes not getting paid for it so tough. I can’t repo the writing. It’s done. When a client gets the work I am left trusting that they will pay me for it and sadly there are a number of people out there who won’t. I have done many an assignment only to have the client walk away. This happens a lot with college students who need help with their papers.
When I was younger I use to let this make me feel as though my writing wasn’t good enough. I would convince myself that if the writing had been amazing the client wouldn’t have had a choice but to feel they should pay the final bill. I would spend hours coming down on myself for not having been good enough. It took me a lot of years to realize that I wasn’t the problem….some people are just dishonest.
Not getting paid for your work is, unfortunately, is sometimes one of the side effects of freelancing. Because there are rotten people out there you do stand the chance of getting cheated, however, don’t let that stop you from doing what you love. Today, I have more clients who pay me than not and of those clients I am very proud to say some of them have gone on to be very successful writers/authors. For me, seeing someone whose work I have edited make it as an author is more than money can provide…and I get to know the person as well. If you are going to freelance understand that there may be times when this happens but also realize that it’s not you, it’s them. Don’t devalue your work…it’s not the work…..
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