I read an excellent article at Editor Unleashed called 5 Questions To Ask Before You Write For Free. Among the good points in this post by Maria Schneider–the question, “Are the editors of the site you want to write for respectful of your work?”
I once did freelance editing work for a client who wanted one of my writers to endorse some rather dodgy practices in her blog–endorse by way of participation, that is, not a direct “You should do this” sort of thing. But in the end it didn’t matter. Objections were raised, which I backed. Some legitimate concerns were voiced and the people who owned the website disregarded them.
Turns out they disregarded them to their own detriment, as this very good writer took a hike shortly after–the writer saw the, um, writing on the wall. The site lost a good writer with a strong work ethic, and the worst part of all–I don’t think they really know what they missed out on. Too bad for them.
The advice in the Editor Unleashed blog post is excellent, but I think that the respect issue is one that easiest to be overlooked, compromised or ignored in the haste to get writing credits or move up the career ladder. As one who experienced that dilemma and taken wrong road more than once, I can tell you nothing good comes of it in the end–you should always take self-respect over the paycheck.
Easy advice when times are good, eh? When times are tough, what do you do? It’s difficult, but I still think opting for being able to face yourself in the mirror is a damn fine thing. I agree with the other points made in the post, but that respect issue is tops in my book…