That’s last time you get to call me “whore.”
–Inara Serra, Firefly
We have a little joke in my Skype group, revolving around the fact that I write for money. Basically, if you pay what I ask, and I don’t think that you’re completely awful, I’ll write for you.
I’ve ghostwritten things I don’t agree with, just because I’ve been paid enough and because, really, when you ghostwrite you have to remember that it’s not you anyway.
My blog content is scattered all over the personal finance blogosphere — and beyond. Go ahead. Google me. I’ll wait.
The first time someone made an observation about the sheer amount of content I write, and the fact that I’ll write just about anything for money, I immediately responded, “I prefer the term ‘companion.’”
Recently, I came across a short rant against crowdfunding that referred to me as a “content whore.” My first reaction? I smiled and thought, “companion, dammit!”
On the surface, it seems as though there is little to choose from between “whore” and “companion.” However, in the series Firefly and the movie Serenity, there is a definite distinction. A companion is paid for certain services, yes, but there is an air of legitimacy and respect associated with the title. Plus, a companion can choose her own clients.
I like to think that I’m a better class of content creator. At least, I don’t try to lowball myself on freelance marketplaces. While I’ll write what I’m paid for, I might decide not to take your job. I think too well of myself (and maybe that’s a mistake) to accept $5 or $10 for a post. I used to be a content whore, writing anything — keyword articles, anyone? — for a small amount of money. But I like to think that I’ve moved up in the world.
I can also choose my own clients at this point. Gone are the days when I needed to write for anyone that paid me in order to pay the bills. (When you’re the primary breadwinner, and you want to make it work from home, you get pretty desperate.) But now, even though I write for money, I don’t have to take jobs I don’t want. I can fire clients and refuse to take on jobs. I can ask for my own price. I’ve moved beyond simply accepting money for any gig.
Plus, I like to think that I’ve achieved a certain level of respect. Am I the best writer out there? No. Do I sometimes have a bad day, or let burn out affect the quality of my writing? Yes. But, even so, I’m still sought for a number of gigs, and people tell me that I’m a decent writer.
Not everyone thinks I’m awesome, of course. There is a coterie of bloggers that think I’m “awful.” But then, even though not everyone in the Firefly universe thinks that companioning is a respectable profession, companions still have social standing and make good money.
And that’s where I’m at. I have some “standing” in the PF blogosphere. I make decent money. I get to say no to writing gigs. If I don’t like you, or if you don’t want to pay my prices, I won’t write for you.
You can do this, too. Keep writing and providing quality content. You can make a living as you write for money. Eventually, you, too, can be a content companion, choosing your clients, commanding some level of respect, and making a living.
Oh, and consider pre-ordering my book. There are only a few days left.