Writers Demand a Living Wage

Writers need to stop working for chump change.

If you’re a writer and you work for less than $200 a day, you are a chump. Just think about it, if you work 8 hours a day at $200 a day, that comes out to only $25 an hour. And for self-employed people that’s before you pay both sides of the payroll tax.

Just the other day I was working with an editor for Smashing Magazine on a story pitch. Everything was great until we started discussing money.

The story was to be about Symfony. It was to show designers and developers how to spin up a Symfony framework, and to demonstrate how quickly one can utilize Symfony to get to the creative stage quickly.

To write a story like that with a working Symfony sample application would take several days. I would have included at least one interview.

The editor wanted to pay me $250. I wanted $800. The editor wasn’t able, or willing, to pay me what I wanted. He did assure me that my story would reach a large audience. While Smashing Magazine has a large audience, that apparently doesn’t equate to paying writers what they’re worth. I’ve been published hundreds and hundreds of times and don’t get excited about getting a byline. Therefore, I won’t be writing for Smashing Magazine.

More writers need to be willing to walk away from a bad deal. Accepting low rates for your writing is ruining it for everyone.

I understand that noobs need to do what they need to do get published, but once you’ve established yourself as a professional writer and you can write with a voice, expect to be paid, and if you aren’t, walk away.

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