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  • Writer's pictureD. G. Martin

You Need to Understand

Two baby gerbils.
Oh! They're the ones with tails. Then what was that other one from before? A tiny beaver, maybe?

"So I got the email about your writing rates, and I have to admit, those are pretty steep. I usually pay my writers less than half that rate."

"Those poor writers. I feel sorry for them that you abuse them so."

"What do you mean 'abuse them'? Most of them are happy to have the work. I think you need to adjust your rates to meet what I pay them."

"I'm going to stop you right there. I tried doing that once, back when I was a stupid writer, and that's what the other writers you hire are. Stupid."

"How can you say that? You don't even know them or their situations. I think you're just being prideful. Now send me an updated quote with reduced rates."

"First, no. Second, I know they're stupid because they are okay with you forcing them to devalue themselves in order to simply have a new client. It's pathetic. Rates are rates."

"Now see here, you can't talk to me like that. You're in danger of losing me as a reliable, paying client. And what did you mean that you tried doing this once?"

"Wow. I'm impressed that you actually are paying attention to what I'm saying. I'll bite on that one, then, but you'll have to use that big organ between your ears to keep up.

I used to tailor my rates to my specific clients based on their ability to pay, the scope of the work being done, and even if I personally liked them."

"That sounds reasonable."

"It is not, and don't interrupt me."

"Oh, sorry."

"So what ended up happening is that those generally non-discreet clients for whom I made an exception ended up being even more work than the clients I charged the regular rate. There's always a hidden cost in working with people who want you to devalue yourself because, and this is the part you need to hear, if I allow them to devalue my time and my work, then they ultimately end up seeing me as a devalued person."

"I'm not sure I follow you."

"I'm not surprised."

"Hey, are you saying I'm stupid?"

"I could be coy here, but yeah."

"Why you little son of're going to regret your attitude! You just lost me as a client, and I'm going to tell everyone I know never to hire you. See if you get any work after today, you tiny upstart."

"Okay, Mr. Cedarwood. Thank you for the fun conversation. And please do think of me when your freelance pool dries up because writers won't work for you anymore. Dickhead."

This interaction is mostly a work of fiction, but it is meant to illustrate a point that I hope is not lost on those for whom it needs to strike home. I'm not going to explain it. That would make the whole thing too easy, and we all know that's not what Tuesday Drivel is about. If I made it easy, then even the gerbils would get it. Can't have that. Need to keep those pesky buggers in their place.

Also, if you need a writer for a project, please email me for my rates. I mean, if you dare.


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