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Writers, Money, Pricing And Self-Worth

Writers, Money, Pricing And Self-WorthAmelia Ramstead who blogs at Amelia Ramstead Writing & Editing commented on Why I’ll Hire You – The Money Side saying and asking:

This is great information. Number one is definitely the hardest for me. Talking about money always feels “dirty” in some way. I have to remind myself that I am worth it. I’ve read before that men talk about money differently than women. When you are interviewing writers has that been your experience? Do men tend to be more direct about pricing?

It’s this comment that kicked off the survey Is It Easier For Men To Set Freelance Writing Prices Than Women?

I really appreciate Amelia’s openness and honestly. There are so many mixed messages about money and self-worth in our society. Darren Rowse of Problogger.net fame wrote about self-worth on Google Plus yesterday. So have I, although not about myths about money.

The Money is Dirty Myth

The experience that talking about money feels dirty or nasty or somehow inappropriate can only get the way of making a true living wage writing. The classic antidote is coming to realize that money only represents energy and that when we get paid we’re paid for that exchange of energy. Which is a good way to look at it I think. A client who pays me to ghostwrite a book gets the book – I get the money for the energy I put into the whole process of ghostwriting a book.

It’s not so easy, of course, to change belief systems. And this one seems to be glued to the failure to recognize our worth as a writer.

A Bowl of Self-Esteem

If I could I’d give each and every one of you, and myself, a great big bowl of self-esteem. But it doesn’t work that way. Coming to value our talents, our writing, even our selves is something each one of us must do on their own.

Rowse says that in this society we tend to believe “Personal Worth = What You Achieve + What Others Think of You.” He points out that the major problem with this equation is that it isn’t true.

I truly believe that each of us has an intrinsic worth just because we’re here on the planet. That worth isn’t tied to what we do or who approves of us or not.

Getting in touch with that true value can happen any number of ways from counseling to just noticing the good things we do every day.

Ideas About Money & Self-Worth Linked

My own experience is that as I began to recognize my worth as a human, as I began to accept that I am after all a pretty decent writer, it was way easier for me to put money in it’s proper perspective. It’s just a bunch of paper and coins and now electronic bits that we’ve agreed to use to make our exchanges easier.

For me my view of money and my view of my self have been intricately interwoven. As I’ve unwound one damaging view, the other has also unraveled.

Part of the unraveling for me included Lynn Twists wonderful book, The Soul of Money. Another totally different book that’s been truly helpful for me is How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously by Jerry Mundis. I’ve also been involved in a number of 12 Step groups, spiritual studies and even fire walking as I’ve learned to truly appreciate myself just as I am.

One of the results is that I’ve become truly comfortable setting prices, and talking about money with clients and my family. I’m much more successful as a writer as a result.

By the way, we’ve got a category here called Dealing With Money you may find helpful.

How do you see money and self-worth?

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Jamiesrabbits

{ 18 comments… add one }
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  • I always feel that the biggest thing holding us back in our business life is ourselves! If we don’t maintain great self-value when it comes to our work, we’ll constantly work for peanuts. That’ll mean we have to work harder for more money. Yes, we’ll get heaps of work coming in – who wouldn’t want a great writer who charges minimal for their work? Then we’ll be exhausted, and not to mention, resentful. Now I’m trying to work smarter, not harder. The peanut crowd have gone from my client list – they gave me some clips, so I got something from them. Now I’m consistently increasing my prices to pull in better clients. Strangley enough, I find that the clients who get their work for minimal fee are the ones who appreciate me the least, and tend to be the most demanding.
    Nicky Parry recently posted..Check Your SkinMy Profile

    • Right on Nicky. I second everything you said, especially the last part. If we agree to work for less, the clients don’t respect us more, they expect us to work our butts off for even less peanuts. Just shows that if we don’t respect ourselves, no one else will either. It all starts from within.
      Rahul Singh recently posted..Connecting with the Universal Spirit.My Profile

      • Anne

        Yes, it all starts within… where else is there?

  • The world works in a strange way! What matters the most is the MARKET!
    Ron’s SEO Copywriting Services recently posted..Get Writer Imagination – It’s Time to Moodle!My Profile

    • Anne

      Ron, yes, it’s a strange trip we’re all on. The market is certainly important… not the most important for me, but close.

  • I’m still working on feeling like I deserve some of the offers I get, but it’s getting easier. Money is a difficult thing for me. I was really proud the other day, because a client asked what I would charge for a short, fun piece. It was an easy piece, one that would take me about 3o minutes. At first, I thought about asking for $30, but my boyfriend suggested $35. I thought about it for about 10 minutes, and then said, “Hey, I think I’m worth at least $50. I’m going to tell my client I’ll do it for $50”. He accepted my offer within minutes, and I was so glad I didn’t settle for less than I deserved.
    Missy recently posted..5 Quick Questions for Writers to Ask Before Accepting a New Freelance Writing GigMy Profile

    • Anne

      Good for you Missy… yes, that puts you at $100 an hour. Tell us how you’ve been improving your deserving as it were.

  • That equation is so typical, and yet is the very core of the problem for most people. What we achieve is important, but what we think about ourselves is far more important to our self worth than what others think about us and our accomplishments.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Grady Pruitt recently posted..Are You Wasting Your Money?My Profile

    • Anne

      Getting older has certainly helped me worry less about what other folks think.

  • Such an important post. Understanding your value as a writer takes time and also takes building your talent so that your value really is as great as it can be.

    I have not heard of the book you mentioned, The Soul of Money, but it seems interesting. I’ll have to look into it further.

    Thanks for this post. I’m new to the site. I’ll poke around a bit.
    Michael recently posted..Books For WritersMy Profile

    • Anne

      Seems to me we’re probably born with at least some talent, then we have to nurture it and I find that easier when I”m feeling good about myself.

  • Danielle

    Anne, this is a topic that every freelancer and especially women needed to read. I think when we’re in the job market, it’s easy to accept the messages we’re given. As a big fan of Barbara Stanny, her book Overcoming Underearning was an eye opener for me personally. She goes into the messages we carry with us from childhood that sabotage us more than any messages about abundance or prosperity can erase.

    Before I decided to freelance without the agencies, I purchased Steve Slaunwhite’s Wealthy Freelancer. He covered setting rates, but then he emphasized getting your mindset in order. He recommended writing down how much you wanted to earn as a freelancer – then add 50% because he was certain we all are under-earners.

    Thank you for getting to the root of the money issue here. It will come in handy when we see “10 articles for $3” and “looking for quality, seo article writer – our budget is $5 per 1,000 words”. It’s out there.

    • Anne

      Another couple of books I’ll have to read… keep ’em coming. Yes, I write on this topic from time-to-time and it’s always well received.

  • I love The Soul of Money. Another great author on this topic is Barbara Stanney. I’m currently reading her book, The Secrets of Six-Figure Women, and I hear her others are really good, too. I’ve been starting to address the issues around creativity and money on my blog and newsletter and people respond like crazy–these are vital themes to address at the moment, as so many are suffering.

    • Anne

      Thanks Charlotte, I’ll have to add that to my list. Thank you.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to address this so fully! I wanted to recommend another book that has been really helpful for me when it comes to dealing with my money issues: Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. I haven’t managed to make it though all the steps yet, but even reading the introduction really gives you a new perspective on money.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of the survey!
    Amelia Ramstead recently posted..When Life Gets in the Way of the WritingMy Profile

  • And this is why I love you, Anne. 🙂 I just love reading about your life’s journey that brought you here.

    Maybe it’s my age (okay, probably it’s my age), but I do believe your journey will sooner or later bring you to the true value of life and you will learn to love yourself. Like you said, Anne, to truly appreciate myself just as I am. Amen.

    I so agree with Darren about the equation being wrong. In my corporate days, I “achieved” recognition and hit that magical six-figure salary and the happiest day of my life was when I walked away from it.

    Thanks, Anne, for an insightful post.
    Cathy Miller recently posted..QR Codes: The Good, the Bad & the UglyMy Profile

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