A career in writing might sound whimsical and artsy. But the reality is qualified writers with a background in Communication and English studies or Journalism are underpaid for their skills, labour and effort of researched work and reportage.
As also recently noted in an article titled ‘Low pay is killing Journalism’ by Safrea the Southern African Freelancers Association. Safrea exco member Hagen Engler said, “The rates being paid by the established media houses are threatening to kill journalism.”
“A journalist with 20 years’ experience and a family to support cannot subsist on R2, 50 a word for a thousand-word investigative article, which some titles are paying.”
Depressing? Yes, and since we can’t all be engineers this shouldn’t deter you from taking ownership of your writing career. Whether you find work in public relations, content marketing, corporate communication or pursuits like screenwriting, ghostwriting books or social media strategy, and here are three reasons why.
- Take yourself seriously to receive the due respect
To find a way to make money in writing and have it hopefully pay the bills. Khanyi Dhlomo used her smarts from being a journalist to becoming the publishing media mogul she is today, and who says you can’t either. As being a media freelancer requires that you’re resourceful to use your skills in the ever changing media landscape.
- Just like any profession out there you’re selling a skill
Therefore believe in your work, talent and contributions as writers are needed for bringing light to diverse viewpoints and to communicate on matters, especially in today’s highly competitive information age.
- Remember that your words have worth and they’re definitely worth money
Therefore it’s up to you to take ownership of your success as what you put in is what you’ll get out. Write a pitch to your potential client and convince them that they need what you have on offer so to make money from your talent. Writing is a profession that’s needed and hopefully the client will pay you your due, but do prepare for rejections at times.