Writer & Eternal Student

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And the Sourpuss Award Goes to...

Published: May 14, 2009
This was initially published on my now-defunct No Job for Mom blog.

I've been challenging myself to find article ideas everywhere. Whether I'm in the grocery store, walking around the lake or spending family time, everything and everyone is a potential article or blog post.


Imagine my surprise when unsolicited material for this blog landed in my lap. I couldn't believe it. I've gotta share this one with you guys. I wanted to call this post the Sourpuss of the Week Award, but I realize that I am fortunate enough not to run into that many sourpusses. So, right now, this person has the dubious distinction of having the first ever...

No Job for Mom Sourpuss Award!

Enough introduction, here's the email I received Wednesday (names have been changed to protect the sour):

Subject: Demand Studios

Felicia, $15 for a story is not good pay, not even if you can knock it out in an hour. If you can do it in 15 minutes, maybe. Standard rates for national audiences used to be (and are for some of us) $1 a word. What are you worth? Surely more than that. This kind of payment is what is driving prices down for professional writers. Please. If you want to write for free that is your business, but it hurts those of us who depend on this sort of thing for our livelihood.


(Person's Name)

My response:

Good Day (Person's Name),

Thank you for your rather spirited email. I'm sure its in response to one of my articles or my blog.

(Person's Name), I'm happy that you refuse to write for $15. However, a newbie with little or no confidence looks at earning $15 an article as a nice way to get their feet wet.

When I first started, I was very happy to earn $15 for an article. Of course, now, I earn a higher pay, but I can't forget where I came from. You're absolutely right that it is my "business" as you very eloquently put it, if I wish to write for $15, just as you are not obligated to write for $15. But I know of too many freelance writers that got their feet wet at $15 (and less) and have graduated from there. Unfortunately, not everyone has the confidence to command a higher rate when they first start.

As a matter of fact, I take on very little "write for upfront pay" work and choose to earn residual income. While it's not something that everyone is willing to do, I find it works for me, just like writing for upfront pay seems to work well for you.

I thank you again for your email. That's what I appreciate about writing online, there are always options. One person's trash is another person's treasure.

By the way, I am a full-time freelance writer. I do depend on my writing for my livelihood.

Have a blessed day.


Felicia A. Williams

You would think that would be the end of it, but no... Here's her response to my response:

Even when I was a newbie I got paid $50 an article for neighborhood shoppers. I just don't buy it, Felicia. And I wish you'd stop.

Ok, I'm guilty. I couldn't let that go unanswered:

NJFM Sourpuss Award
Good for you. I'm glad that you were able to start off with such a nice paying gig. We are all not (person's name).

I'm earning money to feed my family my way and I'm sure you're taking care of your family the way you can. If I choose to write for Demand Studios, its my choice. Writing individual emails to me and the whole crew of people writing for Demand Studios will not stop me or the rest of the folks from writing for them.

Just to clarify things, as I mentioned in my previous email, the majority (96%) of my income comes from residual writing. As I am a grown woman well over the age of 18, I get to choose where I write and how I spend my time.

Have a pleasant day.

Felicia A. Williams

Just as I decided that any further emails from this person will be deleted, she sent this last and final email:

the $50 per article was in 1978; I had no experience, just a degree. You can do better, Felicia. Now I'm through trying to get you to treat yourself as a professional. Anyone who writes for $15 a story is a hobbyist at best. And you are hurting the rest of us. Enjoy your day, too.

This woman appears to be having a difficult time securing writing assignments at the rate she believes she's worth. Rather than spending time on her freelance writing career, she prefers to clutter my inbox with blame. It's my firm belief that if my freelance writing career isn't going the way I'd like it to go, I need to have a talk with the person in the mirror, not select someone in cyberspace to blame for my inability to earn money. The time she wasted bantering back and forth with me she should have spent looking for work.

It takes all kinds!

About the Author: I am Felicia A. Williams, a wife, mom, grandma, writer and eternal student.

Last Modified: 29 November 2020

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