oday I received the most beautiful compliment from a reader.
Dear Varda,You write so beautifully, why aren't you rich? :)
Not RichWell, my dear fan, what follows is a little story that illustrates why I am not rich from my writing. This story typifies the trials and travails of the freelance writer.
Last week, I finished polishing off a great little article that I thought would be perfect for a Jerusalem Day feature. Jerusalem Day is four days from now. Since that meant there was a time factor, after some deliberation I sent a query to several different publications at once, explaining that I would give exclusive rights to the piece to whichever editor expressed interest first.
Two of the publications wanted my piece but when I asked about payment they said they have no budget for guest features. They wanted my piece as a freebie.
I have enough writing credits to date that exposure in these publications does nothing to further my career. I thought that I might as well post the piece on my blog rather than give it to one of these places for free, so I said thanks but no thanks.
We Don't Care
The next publication suggested I send the piece to a different editor at that publication. I did so and to date, have not heard back. The lack of a response is irritating and hurtful. It’s like saying, “We don’t care enough about you or your query to respond.”
The final publication I queried rejected my piece. The editor said, “We’ll pass on this one, thank you.”
I thought about asking my friend Israel Pickholtz to guest host the piece on All My Foreparents since his blog features genealogy and my piece is a story about my family. He would have been happy to do so, but I wasn’t sure how this would help either of us or our respective readerships.
In the end, I decided I would post the piece on my own blog, four days hence, on Jerusalem Day, but with a caveat. Something along the lines of: “If you like the story, please consider using the donation tab.”
I know it is counterintuitive to pay to read a blog piece but it is so darned hard to make a living as a writer.
But all I want is to be paid for the hard work I put into my writing. If you could only see me at work: I write and rewrite and write and rewrite, until each word and phrase is just so. It’s like polishing a diamond. I put my kishkes (Yiddish for guts) into my writing.
I am the mother of 12 children and writing is one thing I know how to do well. I only want to be recompensed for an honest day’s work.I want to work and be an Eizer k'Negdo--a helpmeet to my husband. I want to put bread on the table and pay my rent.
Is that so bad?
Question for my fellow bloggers: do you have a donation tab? Have you ever received any money through Google Adwords or through a donation tab? (To date, my blog has earned me a total of ZERO, which could be my faulty attempts at marketing my work.)
Question for my readers: Would you ever consider making a donation to a blogger for well-written, interesting blog posts when you can just as easily read them for free?