Why Won't We Share Your Stuff?
I've been writing online for almost 10 years. For the better part of that time, I've had the usual social networking accounts, accounts I use to network and share my writing. Do you know how online writers make a living? The more visible our work is, the more we make. That's true even if we are ghostwriting and managing a client's network. Other writers know this, which is why we constantly share things for each other.
When you share something, it's because you have an interest in it, want to win a contest, or what have you. When you share it on my page, you're relying on my social network to promote your interest. When I delete it from my network, it's because I believe in being fair. I worked hard to develop my network, as every other successful writer has. You can either be a part of it or not, by sharing and networking along with us, but you should not use our hard work for your own means without so much as a thank you.
Also, don't ask us to promote someone who took a class and decided they were an overnight professional in some area if you have never promoted us. It's downright rude and I will actually go out of my way to avoid using or recommending their services. For one thing, I'm not willing to put my reputation on the line for someone who is going through a fad. For another thing, where were you when I needed help promoting?
It's a Real Job, Deal with It
I've been supporting my household for almost a decade with this work. In fact, I just paid off my house. That would seem to indicate that this IS a real job. It's an insult to keep asking a writer when they are going to find a "real job". Are you miserable at work? Sorry to hear that, but those of us who write are compelled to do so, and fortunate enough to make a living doing something we love. More people should seek out their own happiness instead of trying to convince us to join the misery train.
Writing is Work
I love my job, no doubt about that. Yet, there are days when I have to write about things I don't necessarily enjoy. I have come to a point in my career where I can turn away work that I don't believe in (like making up truths about the latest weight loss scam). I also tend to be a very giving person, so if your kid needs help, or you need assistance as you try to better your life through school or work, I'm totally willing to help out and I am not likely to charge you. I assume other writers are the same.
However, if my writing skills contribute to your business in any way, I'm going to expect payment. Why? See the section titled "It's a Real Job, Deal with It." Some of you think it's easy because those of us with experience make it look easy. That skill takes years of hard work to develop. And if it's online work, there is far more that goes into it than just typing. Research, keywords, target audience, demographics--these things all play a part. Don't insult us by saying anything remotely like "All you do is..." or "You're so lucky..." because there is no "All you do" and there certainly isn't any luck involved.
Look at it like this: If you've installed flooring for 10 years and I ask you to come install it in my home, you're probably going to be able to do it faster than I would. You may even make it look fun and easy. That's because you've cultivated that skill. It doesn't mean I'm going to shrug my shoulders, tell you how easy that was, and send you on your way. No, I'm either going to pay you or you are going to rip my flooring back up and take it with you.
This week I finished grad school. In the next week or so I'll pay off the house. I should be ecstatic, right? What I am is confused.
I've been walking this path for so long that I never really thought about what comes after it. I tried to fit in this nice little box by dating, because wouldn't that be the next natural step since life has kept me too busy to do that for these past years? It didn't work and I wasn't impressed at all with the dating world. Then I remembered something.
I don't like boxes. I don't like serial daters or serial dating either. And why the hell does that have to be the next step anyhow?
As a writer it can be pretty hard to make a budget. Things change so fast in this world that one week you can work nonstop and the next week you can be scrambling for something. Fortunately, I happen to have some fantastic clients, and that allows me to predict my budget. It's only taken me almost 10 years to get here and I decided it's time to enjoy that.
In a way, I suppose I'm going to date myself. It dawned on me last night that I haven't been skydiving since before Hunter was born...or white water rafting, or traveling just for the fun of it. Those are things I love to do and things I've put off in the name of survival as a mother, student, business owner, and home buyer. I want to take my son so Comic Cons and find someplace where he can LARP...and maybe I will too!
I got busy working and forgot how to live. Change isn't easy for me, even good change. But a whole new door just opened for me and I have no desire to put any hopes and dreams into someone else and just wait until they decide they don't want to stick around anymore. In a world where you can meet anyone at any time and instant gratification is the norm, everyone is thinking there might be something better around the corner, so let them. Me? I'm not even going to walk on that block. I'll be ziplining over it ;)
Whether you make craft decor or you want to offer virtual assistant services, post your offers here in the comments or on the Facebook page. I'm hoping to see a lot more small business sales this year for Christmas. It's possible, especially since Black Friday sales were down 11%. People are either spending less or looking to small businesses. You'll never know which if you don't promote what you have or do!