I have a tendency to volunteer to help others free of charge, and then be confused by other people saying “you should request payment,” especially when it comes to proofreading. I don’t see green or dollar signs or it as an imposition on my time. Instead, I see a chance to do something I like, and an experience to be exposed to a different writing style than my own. Yes, I sometimes forsake my work and writing to squeeze in more opportunities to read other people’s material than I ought to, but it got me thinking.
How often do we female writers use our natural talents for activities such as volunteering to proofread a colleague’s work or writing for a non-profit organization’s newsletter without payment? Yes, our writing and editing skills could bring us money and fame (so we could hope!), but they could also be the tools that help us bring about change (i.e., if we write letters to the editor), and that could, well, help others.
This could even take as little time as playing word games at sites like www.freerice.com. As writers, we often times possess a strong vocabulary repertoire, so why not put it to good use? My workplace supervisor had passed this link along to me. By playing a game with words involved, we are helping a charity collect donations to help others. If you don’t have the time to proofread someone’s manuscript, do you at least have a few minutes to still help using your writing skill set?