A while back, I decided to stop writing for free.
There were a number of factors that drove this decision:
- I started working, off and on, with a labor law attorney and began thinking seriously about the relationship between capital (most likely, your boss, or your boss’s boss) and labor (most likely, you) for the first time since I dated that Marxist in college. The Marxist’s name was Paul and he quoted The Communist Manifesto and also introduced me to free internet porn.
- I’ve long been troubled by the fact that so many creative people (and porn sites! but, um, this doesn’t bother me as much) give their work away for free on the internet.
- I’ve been giving my work away for free on Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please.
- I left this comment on the post It’s Not Personal, It’s the (Writing) Business on Barb Taub’s blog, barbtaub.
I agree 1000% with what you’ve written here, and I always argue (in vain) with people that giving your work away free does not lead to anyone ever paying for it. But the stark reality is this: their work isn’t good enough for someone to pay for.
knewsuspected my work might be good enough for someone to pay for.
All these thoughts were rolling through my head on one of the days I wasn’t trolling the internet for free porn when I came across the pop culture site whatculture! Whatculture.com features articles about television, movies, music, sport (it’s a British site, so they call it “sport” as though there were only one, and if there were only one, they would probably want to call it “football” instead of “soccer”) and professional wrestling. I ignored the professional wrestling stuff when I saw the “Compose An Article & Get Paid” in the upper right corner of my screen.
So I did compose an article and get paid (you can read about the process whereby you, too, can compose an article and get paid here).
And this is the article I wrote: Game of Thrones: Ten Things to Do While Waiting for Season Four.
That article wound up getting around 7,000 pageviews which resulted in a payment of £2.89, which is $4.81 in real money.
As you can tell by the grin on my face, I’m absolutely thrilled that 7,000 nerds on the internet clicked on something I wrote, and the $4.81 (I’ll have to search under the cushions of my sofa to make up the difference for a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks) is absolutely the sweetest bit of coin I’ve ever earned.
But don’t worry. I’m not going to start charging you for reading Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please.
Royalty free stock photos including the images in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG.