Enjoy. I worked hard on it.
Related: I got a call today from someone from a professional journalists’ association, asking if I wanted to write a feature for the magazine they’re publishing for their awards dinner in a few months. What did they want to pay me for the privilege? Why, nothing! I explained that I don’t write for free, which the woman on the other end of the line did not seem to appreciate hearing. “Well, we’d feature you prominently in the list of contributors, and we would publish your website’s address, and…”
"I’m sorry, I’m just not in a position where I can write anything for free right now."
We went back and forth for a little while, me gently but firmly reiterating my position, she attempting to cajole me into writing something, anything, for her organization’s publication. “What if you interviewed some laid-off journalists about what they’re doing now? We just don’t have a budget for this…”
"It doesn’t really matter if it’s a long or short article," I said. "I can’t write anything for no pay."
"Well, it’s great that in this economy you have enough work to be able to turn stuff down!" she chirped.
What I wanted to say: Whether I do or I don’t isn’t the issue; the issue is that you are representing an organization FOR JOURNALISTS and you are asking me to WRITE FOR FREE. Do you perhaps not see the irony in that?
What I said: “If your budget situation changes, give me a call.”
In other news, I wrote an article about the Mets for today’s New York Post, for which I will get paid.