Friday Speak Out!: Walking the Talk!

Friday, October 16, 2015
by Jennifer Brown Banks

A few months ago, in an effort to build my writing portfolio and my bottom line, “this little piggy went to market.” Though I have publications to whom I submit on a regular basis, I was seeking more opportunities to reach new and larger audiences with my work, and meet income goals established. Boy was I surprised.

I discovered that though the Internet has exponentially increased the number of places that are available for writers to showcase their talent, paying opportunities are as rare as fine wine, comparatively.

Foolishly, I thought the task would be easy. Armed with over 700 publishing credits and a few blogging awards I had garnered, I thought that pay would be “commensurate with my experience.” Wrong…

Here’s what I encountered instead: publication after publication that paid writers in “copies,” “exposure,” “hopes for the future,” or third-world-country wages.

“Successful” Blog owners who boasted about making boatloads of money online, but refused to pay contributors for content submitted to their site. “Experts” who admonished us not to write for free, unless it was for them, of course. Maybe it’s just me, but I see a contradiction here.

Frustrated, I decided to make an effort to make a difference. I posted an announcement on my site that I would begin to pay for submissions, effective December 1st.

As writers we are influencers. We are policy makers, consumers, thought leaders and messengers. We have the ability and the responsibility to make a difference in our words and actions.

So, I’m on a mission to do just that. Cash-strapped, I vowed to pay for contributing articles at a rate of ten bucks upon publication, moving forward. Though it won’t knock off a bill, it can at least replenish a writers’ chocolate stash, or buy a cup of coffee at the nearest StarBucks (often used as a morning office location).

It’s not much; but it’s a start. And sometimes, all you need is a “start” to cause a paradigm shift, a movement, a fire. Or to lead by example.

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Jennifer Brown Banks is a content creator, columnist and award-winning blogger. Her work has appeared in publications such as: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Personal Growth.Com, South 85 Literary Journal, and Tiny Buddha.

Visit her "Top Blogging site for Writers" at: 

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Karen Lange said...

The pay scale for freelancers can be discouraging, that's for sure! At times, I've seriously thought about giving it up and pursuing another means of income. It's a running joke between my husband and I about how much I actually make with my writing. I applaud your sentiment and efforts, Jennifer. It means a lot to this writer who happens to be very fond of dark chocolate. :)

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