Am I Getting Paid? Why Do You Ask?

Andrea Freedman

I notice a recurring theme whenever I talk about something new I wrote that is about to be published. Inevitably, before I am barely able to finish my sentence I am asked “Are you getting paid for that?” and I immediately feel as deflated as if I were a pin-pricked balloon.

First of all, I do not really see why it is anyone’s business if I am getting paid or not. I am not asking anyone else to pay my bills.

I don’t know what is worse. When I talk excitedly about my new writing career and am met with responses such as “I meant what are your plans professionally?”

I try to explain that this is what I am doing (while at the same time holding back the words ‘you idiot’ with great difficulty).

Still, perhaps that is better after all than, for example:

“Yeah, but you didn’t get paid for that.”

“They’re not paying you are they?”

“But you’re not making money for any of this.”

“How are you going to turn this into something you can make money doing?”

These comments, often from people that are in fact getting paid, but for doing something they hate, while I am trying to do something that is really important to me, have begun to get on my nerves.

Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to be paid for each and every one of my published pieces of writing but what some people just cannot seem to grasp is that if I were to take some of their unsolicited suggestions about what I should try to do to earn a living to heart, all of a sudden I would be right back to where I started – stuck going into an office every day, anxiously wondering when or how I would find the time to pursue my true passion.

As I am sure I do not have to tell all the other writers out there, sometimes exposure is just as, if not more important than getting paid in dollars and the satisfaction gained each time a writer publishes something is worth more than money can buy; it is important to remember that so that our achievements are never minimized.

I have set out on an entirely new career path. As much as I paid my dues in the work force for so many years beforehand, I am once again finding myself at a point in my life where I am getting my foot in the door.

Since I started to write full-time the learning experience I have had and am continuing to gain has great value in and of itself and will hopefully lead me to more paid writing jobs down the road but if I do not take these necessary steps I may never get where I ultimately want to go.

Yes I dream of having my novel published, going on book tours and becoming a best-selling, financially-comfortable author; in the meantime, I cannot let lack of monetary compensation or, for that matter, any negative comments I might endure from others discourage me.

Obviously I hope to make more money doing one of the things I love to do most and when I finally do sell one of my articles or stories in exchange for any payment worth celebrating – which I have no doubt will eventually happen – I plan to frame a copy of my cheque or at least include it proudly in my portfolio.

Writing is not a hobby for me and it is something I hope to continue to be able to devote my full concentration to for as long as possible. I wish everyone would stop asking me about whether or not I am getting paid every time I have something published and just wait for me to let them know when I get my lucky break.

I think next time someone asks me if I am getting paid for writing, rather than let it cast a negative shadow over my enthusiasm for being published in the first place, I will simply direct them to this blog post and continue on my way. And no, in case anyone is wondering, I did not get paid to write this.♠

Copyright © 2013 by Andrea Freedman


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on July 17, 2013, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great article Andrea! You are a beautiful writer and I applaud you for not allowing your talent and passion to be minimized by the financial insecurities of others. As with all things in life that are worthy and meaningful, the rewards come in many forms; not just financially and only those who are brave enough to live their passion will understand this!
    Teresa D.


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