Friday, November 11, 2011


I have always wondered how my life would change if I became a paid writer. I had this romantic idea that nothing would change and that I would still be giving just as much time to my works in progress as I did before.

I have been a full time freelance writer for almost three months now and I am sad to say it, but there is a huge difference between writing for yourself and getting paid for it. For instance, if you get paid for your writing you suddenly have deadlines and you have to give those assignments your full attention. When you do it for yourself you write when you want and as many times as you want. If you didn’t complete a certain word count for the day then there is always tomorrow. With paid writing you do not have that luxury.

I still love my job, don’t get me wrong. I feel happy that I can do what I love. But now I have to become one of those many organized writers who have a writing schedule and posting schedule, as many of you will have noticed, I do not get to blog as often anymore. Sorry about that.

Another thing I realized is that freelance writing does not pay a lot at all or at least the company I work for does not pay me a lot. You do a lot of research and effort for a small fee. I am not complaining or anything but just to help some of you aspiring freelance writers out with some information...I get paid 38 cents (R3) for every 150 word article I write. I write about 300 articles a month, each consisting of 150 words which gives me a grand total of $114 (R906) a month. So as you know I have to write a lot of articles if I want to make ends meet. But I figure at least I get to add some writing credits to my query letter. Plus I get to work from home.

I just thought I would tell everyone about what I just realized. It is a good thing I am not just doing the writing for money. I just so happen to love it, but the money is a realistic plus.


  1. I'm sorry the writing job isn't meeting your expectations. I bet that over time that putting your writing on a schedule will become natural after a while and the paid writing will eventually give you opportunities to make more money for the same amount of work. Don't give up, and congratulations on the writing job!

  2. Thanks Tonja. I did not mean for it to come across like I was complaining. Thank you for always listening anyway.

  3. That sounds like quite a bit of work for very little money.
    I know its good practice and good for your resume but I hope you will build your portfolio and keep looking.
    Best of luck.

  4. Gosh, is that the going rate for freelance writers in S.A? At least you're doing what you love...

  5. I think the work-rate alone would be enough to put me off being freelance - 300 articles a month! It's a shame you can't invoice for the time it takes to research and write, rather than the finished article alone.

  6. Heather - Thank you so much. I am looking for other opportunities, but writing jobs are very rare here in South Africa. But I am definitely not settling just yet.

    Mish - Exactly! Unfortunately they do not pay much in South Africa. The other thing is that freelance writing jobs are very scarce. But I suppose there are a few companies that would pay more, if only one could find them.

    Annalisa - It is a shame, but luckily the love of writing makes up for it for now.


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