When you’re a freelance writer, it can be important to pony up some of your thoughts for free.
For those of you who caught Gio’s mid-week unscheduled rant, you will completely understand this blog post. If you didn’t catch it, what are you doing with your life? Go back and take a listen!
Gio’s unscheduled rant was because of some “feedback” he received for posting an ad. The ad was looking for writers/bloggers to contribute to Consensually Speaking. His ad was quite clear and is not much different than what I have seen advertised numerous times before for content contributors. What was he looking for? He’s looking for writers who can dedicate the time to contribute useful and enjoyable content and to do so in a timely manner. Oh, and as stated pretty early on in the ad, it is unpaid work. In exchange, you get to highlight your writing chops, promo whatever you are working on, and reach an audience that you previously may not have had access to. Pretty par for the course. Especially when you are dealing with people who are creating a project as a labor of love and not necessarily making money from said labor of love.
Ok, so if you listened to the podcast, you know where I am going with all this. If you didn’t listen to it, stop reading this right now and go take a listen. (Seriously. Why are you reading a blog to a podcast you aren’t listening to?) I am not going to get into the dirty with the details on what happened, you can listen to what Gio has to say about it here on his podcast or you can check the actual post here. But suffice to say, everyone that watched the drama unfold, pressed the pause button to make popcorn.
The whole production starts from the very first response he gets to his ad. The response is from a girl stating she would be interested in contributing if this were paying. Great. I am pretty sure no one is interested in hearing about something that no one asked you about. Too bad you don’t mind giving your opinions away for free. But I digress, this post is not about what went down in Gio’s ad. No, this post is about the benefits of contributing, gratis, to someone else’s project.
I understand her, and her little minion that came along after she got blocked, desire for artists to be paid for their work. I, myself, am a struggling writer. For every paying gig I have, I am offered 10 non-paying. And sometimes, I even cold-pitch for non-paying contributions. I bet you would never guess, but the cold hard reality is: it’s hard out here for an aspiring freelance writer, no matter how good of a writer they are, to get consistent, paid work. I would love nothing more than to be paid for each and every published post I write. But do you want to know something? I am just thankful I am being published at all. After all, how do you expect to ever get regular, on-going, decent paying jobs if you don’t have any published work to showcase? We all have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is usually the bottom.
This also brought up the matter of artist integrity for me. The two major party poopers in this show of ridicuolousness seem to put money on quite the pedestal. As if their sole purpose in producing written material is to make money, and lots of it. Again, yes making a good living off your writing is ideal. Hell, even a livable wage would suffice. And yes, artists are due fair compensation. But reward can take many forms, not just monetary. How about writing for writing’s sake? It’s been proven that the more you write, the better you become at it. I think it’s a little thing called practice. How about creating a vision with your words because that is what you love to do? How about engaging with other artists to do cross-promotion? Let us get real for a minute here, if you started writing or blogging to become a millionaire, you’re misguided at best, delusional at worst.
I would like to make point that is more relative to the Consensually Speaking podcast and this blog as a whole now. While it is true that recently BDSM has become more visible to the vanilla world, it has not made the cross-over to mainstream quite yet. And if you think finding paying position for vanilla writing is hard, try pulling a paying vacancy within the BDSM, kink, fetish, etc. writing genre. If it is imperative to get your work out there for people to see, then it would stand to reason that it is even more important to get your kinky writing published and out there for the right people to see.
In my very humble opinion, I feel like it’s almost a given that in the beginning of your writing career you are going to have to give up some of your musings for free. Chances are, you have a blog that you write for. You likely aren’t receiving any dividends from that. So why do you do it? Why, to try to broadcast your writing abilities to the world of course. Now, wouldn’t it make sense to work side by side with other bloggers, writers, artists, and podcasters in an attempt to further your reach? I met Gio through Twitter when I made an asinine post about funny sounding domain names that are available. He commented that he secured the name that he wanted for this podcast, oralbondage.com. You know how things go, one thing leads to another and next thing I know, we were planning for me to be a guest on his podcast. In an attempt for him to get a feel for me, I gave him links to my professional website, my blog, and sample portfolio of my published works. After doing what I assume was his due diligence in researching me, he asked if I would like to contribute to his Consensually Speaking blog. I didn’t ask how much it paid, how big his audience was, or anything of that matter. I answered with a fervidly and resoundingly “Absolutely!”. Why? It surely isn’t because I don’t think my writing has merit or is worthy of monetary compensation. No. It’s because it’s a chance to do what I love doing, my passion. It’s a chance to sharpen my writing chops. And it’s a chance to have my writing visible to a brand new audience who may have never found me without it.
So, I want to thank Gio from the bottom of my cold, black, sadistic heart for asking me to contribute to blogging for his podcast.