I’m between assignments, gigs… I ain’t got nuthin’ to write right now.  A down day allows time for surfing the nooks and crannies of internet writing hang-outs and lurking around forums to spy on others with nothing to do.  I also checked for messages and writing possibilities on one of the sites with my profile.

Sooo….I’m checking out potential gigs and come across one that made me squirm on my whirling, twirling multi-functional, yet mildly comfortable chair.  Here’s the project in a nutshell: Write 12 articles a day five days a week!  (WOW! I hope these are mighty short articles!) The project continues: The payment is *drum roll* a whopping, would-I -ever-be-able-to spend-that-much-money $3.00 per article IF the writers bangs out  a minimum of 240 articles per month! Why that’s $720 a month. If a writer just can’t bring home that many articles in one month he or she is hit with a fifty cent paycut ($2.50/article).

  Ok, but how many words per article? Hmmm….350 words! So let me get this straight–the client wants someone to write 4200 words a day ($36), 21,000 words a week ($180), and 84,000 words a month ($720)? All that works out to nearly one and a half cents per word.

For one and half cents the buyer demands the proper use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling… in English, please.  And my favorite part of the request–Include the following in the bid: “I know how to follow instructions and my bid is $720 for 240 articles per month.” My initial response was a loud guffaw followed by a choked cackle. I reread the buyer’s request and then checked out public repsonses to this generous offer for starving freelancers.

I found I was not alone in my shock, dismay and then outrage. One writer likened the gig to Pavlov training slobbering dogs to do his bidding with a kibble for reward.  Others gave his brilliance kudos. Because I’m lurker, I kept my comments for blogging. 

My word count is at 336+ and if I was writing for the low-baller I would have made a hefty $3.00 that wouldn’t even buy lunch.  Oh, by the way…16 souls are so desperate that they put in bids for a job that will not pay them minimum wage.  I wonder if they realize the injustice they do to themselves and to the rest of us who demand a fair wage for a well-turned phrase.  Writing is my vocation, not an avocation. Stop low-balling, stop putting up with low-ball offers and start showing a sense of pride in your work and writing. 

*Disclaimer All thoughts and rants are the property of the writer who is pissed off at unfair wage practices from peers with no talent for writing or underestimate the worth of writing and would be better off finding another occupation and clients who expect everything for nothing.