Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Writer Rejected an Assignment - I Smiled

After I got a lot of responses via e-mail, twitter and a comment to yesterday's post on Writer's Worth Day I realized something. We need to help others realize their worth. As Jackie, from the blog Bike with Jackie, commented she's got a friend who pitches pubs lower than she needs to and Jackie is working to help her go beyond this self-imposed low worth idea.

True story: I've got a writer who writes for the two publications I edit. She's a good solid reporter. She understands a deadline, is a great communicator and sources like her work ethic. I appreciate it too. (sidenote: one of these publications pays nothing for submissions - trust me I am working to change this model as quickly as possible.) I sent this stellar writer two assignments, one each for the pubs. She responded that she will take the paid one but she needs to focus on articles that will help her get by as a writer, so she'll decline the second non-paying assignment.

I'll be honest - I read her e-mail and smiled. Finally!! I'm sure it took a lot of courage to take the one assignment and reject the other. She probably debated whether to respond in that way. She probably worried I'd pull the paid assignment or never assign her another one. But I'm not in the least bit upset with her. Sure, I'd love to have her as a writer for the non-paying pub and now I'll have to find someone else to replace her, but this is a smart move for her at this point in her freelancing career. I wrote her back and told her so.

Bottomline: We need to help boost up fellow writers and editors. We need to help them see that they are talented and can demand to be compensated for their skill.

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