My friend Lori Widmer is a seasoned writer and blogger, and a tireless advocate of better pay for pixel-stained wretches everywhere. Five days a week she offers brief, cogent (and well-written!) advice to writers and would-be writers on her blog, Words on the Page. She has an active commenting community of fellow writers who chime in on a daily basis with encouragement, ideas and horror stories.
Lori has declared that today is “Writers Worth Day,” a day for all of us in the writing “industry” to take a stand against the cheesy job boards and websites that offer, for example, payment of $5 for a well-researched, original blog post of 300 words or more. “Our careers depend on your turning down bad deals because each time you accept a lousy offer, you validate the existence of people who don’t value writing skills,” she declares, and I say, hear hear!
I quibble a bit with her references to a writing “industry.” I think writing actually is broader and more fundamental than an industry. Writing is a close cousin to knowledge, and while people speak of “knowledge workers,” I don’t think there’s really a “knowledge industry” — despite 618,000 Google hits for the term. It seems like an “industry” should be more narrowly defined, and have at least some barriers to entry.
But I certainly agree with her that capable writers should be taken seriously — especially by themselves. We do add value. Speaking of which…