If you have seen the movie The Ugly Truth, you might remember that Gerard Butler’s Mike accuses Katherine Heigl’s Abby of having a checklist when it comes to men. We all have our requirements when it comes to the type of people we want to date. And it only makes sense that as writers we have our checklist for the type of writing jobs we are willing to take.
Maybe Mike wasn’t a doctor or a lawyer. Maybe he did try to appear a lot cruder than he actually was. But in essence, he was nice, fun-loving, handsome, and romantic- and these are qualifications many women aren’t willing to stop searching for.
As writers, we may sometimes settle for less pay because we like the exposure potential or the topic. Or we might be willing to write something that is less exciting because of the prestige. But in general, there are some jobs that put a smile on our faces more than other gigs.
Here’s my checklist when it comes to accepting a gig:
1. The topic is fun for me. I hate writing about stuff that doesn’t interest me.
Technical writing, for instance, might pay the good bucks, but it does bore the hell out of me. And the main reason I became a writer is that I love writing- if I am writing about something that makes me feel good.
Being picky about the topics might make it hard to make more money, but in the long run, it will make you happier. And remember the great writing tip – if you like what you are writing about, it is a lot easier to write something great and enjoyable for the readers.
2. Pays via Paypal. I’m sorry, but this is the 21st century. Why use checks, when PayPal makes it easier for both the sender and the receiver?
3. Pays in accordance to the work it requires. There is no one specific flat fee that will please writers. $15/article may sound outrageously low, but if it takes 15 minutes to write that article, it just might feel better than taking a $100/article gig that takes several hours of research, several hours to write and more hours to edit it. Maybe it is just me, but I value my time. If it is going to take that long, and that much effort, maybe that job should pay $500/article.
4. The editor is helpful: The good thing about being a freelancer is that you don’t have a boss. The bad thing is that sometimes you feel like you have multiple bosses. They are called editors. I appreciate an editor who tries to get the best writing out of me. I don’t mind editing, just as long as my editor acts like a helpful mentor, rather than a merciless critic who acts like they don’t know what it is like to be the writer at the mercy of the editor.
5. Allows a byline/bio: Promotion is a writer’s best friend. It is beneficial to have a gig that will not only give you credit, but also some crucial information about you and your background- hopefully with a link to your website.
There we go. These are the 5 things I look for in a writing gig. What are your requirements?