My writing goals

The following questions come from author and writing teacher Christina Katz:

On a scale of one to ten, how’s your self-respect? Can you say no? Do you say yes to yield to social pressure and supposed-to’s and then suffer for it? Are you catering to too many other people’s needs but burning out in the process? Do you listen to and trust your instincts about what is and isn’t the best way to proceed?

My self-respect is about a 9 – hey, no one’s perfect, right? Over the past year, I’ve learned to say no when a writing project doesn’t fit my goals or when the topic doesn’t interest me. If a subject doesn’t appeal to me, it’s hard to make it interesting for others. And isn’t it a bit dishonest? “Hey, I couldn’t care less about doomaflotchies, but I sure wish you’d read my story about them.”

Also, I got in over my head a couple of times last year, taking on too many assignments and had to back out of projects. I hated doing that, but I would’ve hated even more turning in something that wasn’t up to par. Now, I’ve learned how much I can handle without spreading myself too thin or losing my sanity or self-respect.

And when it comes to getting paid for my work, I’m not afraid to ask for more. The worst a client can do is say no, but many times they’ll say yes. For instance, yesterday, after agreeing to write a piece on short notice, I asked my editor if she could bump up my per-word rate. She thanked me for my work and doubled my rate for this article and future ones.

Another editor agreed to boost my pay for an assignment after I pointed out that a lot of information was available on my topic and would need to be distilled. A couple of national sources and two or three local sources and I’m good to go.

It pays to ask for what you’re worth.

Photo by sushivina on Flickr’s Creative Commons

0 thoughts on “My writing goals

  1. Kudos to you for learning your limits and having the will-power to say no sometimes! I think it's something people gain with experience and maturity!Also, I admire your work very much. People often encourage me to write freelance but I wouldn't know where to start and have a dredful fear of writer's block. Many times I've been told I'm funny and have funny stories to tell, and my response is – "Yes, but I'm not sure I could be funny on command!"So, again, I admire your talent and discipline very much! 🙂

  2. Great points! I've had to ask for more $$ for projects–not easy, but I've never been told "no." If you're valuable to an editor, they will try to keep you.

  3. Meg, thanks! You don't have to be funny on command. And you should check with some local magazines or newspapers to see if they need some freelancers. Come up with a good idea and send it to them!

  4. Jenny, thanks. You're right … if you're valuable, they'll find a way to make it work. Maybe it won't be more money, but it might be more assignments.Rock on, mama!

  5. That's so awesome! Congrats on your writing career going so well–and bargaining up your rates, too! That's huge. I'm both excited for you and jealous. 🙂

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: