Money earned this week: $877.64
Pieces written this week: 27
Want to read my latest Yearbook Office contribution? Here you go!
Do you like discussing bestselling personal finance books with one eyebrow skeptically raised? Join the Billfold Book Club, in which I will lead us all on a riotous discussion of Rich Dad Poor Dad. (Look, there’s a lot of solid advice in that book. And then there are the parts that are completely unhinged.)
So I’m on Contently now. It’s a great way to see all of my essays and first-person writing in one place. It is less of a good way to see my commercial writing, such as the pieces I do for Coupon Connections.
Of course, any site like Contently which works by trawling the internet for articles with my name on them is going to completely miss the web copy, email campaigns, and ghostwriting work I do.
And it’s going to grab my most popular article, I’m a Hack Writer who Writes 5,000 Words/Day for $20/Hr, and place it right at the top – even though that statistic is no longer true.
Now I write 3,000 words per day for $50 an hour, and, as I’m learning, even that is not considered a professional rate by Those In The Know.
I kinda got into a spat on a writing forum this week because I thought I was doing well. Going from $20/hr to $50/hr in just over a year is, like, a one hundred fifty percent raise.
And then the real writers were all “Do you have any idea how you are lowballing yourself? Why are you settling for so little?"
And I was "ummmmmmm… I didn’t think I was settling?”
There’s also the implied piece, which wasn’t a direct part of the forum argument but was maybe a concern, that my working for such a low rate makes conditions worse for everyone. I am the Gig Economy. I am the Cheerful Intern. I am the Stupid Millennial Ruining Everything, even though I am actually in the very last year of Generation X, thank you very much.
So yeah. I shouldn’t be happy that I’m earning $50/hr. I should be building a ship out of twigs and paddling it as fast as I can to the Land of Better Jobs, where they pay $150 an hour, or a dollar a word.
One thing you learn very quickly as an adult is that there are multiple realities. In fact, the very first thing I did after I finished that forum discussion was subscribe to Scratch Magazine, because I had been reading their free articles and their Who Pays Writers blog for months and because that magazine told stories from the reality I recognized.
In that reality, writers who earn around $40K a year are doing pretty well for themselves. I feel like that’s The Billfold’s reality, too. That community and its concerns make sense to me because they are also my concerns.
But I’m starting to understand that there is another reality out there. One where people refuse to work for a mere $50/hr. Markets where I can ask for a dollar a word.
I have no idea how to get there. I also have no idea how working in that reality might change me. But the Land of Better Jobs is out there, if I am willing to build the ship.