I'm not much of a joiner, but this is a cause I think is worth fighting for.
Writer abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our country. One in five writers will suffer eye strain from the lack of an anti-glare coating on their computer monitor. One in three will have to wear one of those silly carpal tunnel gloves because of an ergonomically incorrect workspace. And this very second, a writer is crying because she was unable to decipher her client's cryptic notes.
Okay, so I made those statistics up. But there is a real plight affecting those of us who make our living by the pen (or keyboard): unrealistic beliefs about the value of our skills. The spores of this disease are germinated by "clients" who think it's okay to post projects offering pennies for what amounts to hours of work. The disease is spread by the writers who are willing to work for such paltry sums. Okay, so the economy is in the toilet and businesses have to tighten their belts. It's one thing to hunt for a good deal (hooray for capitalism), but to expect us to give it away is unfair. Not only is it unfair to the writer who is foolish enough to take on the work, but also to the rest of us writers out there who have bills to pay and mouths to feed.
Lori Widmer--blogger, professional writer, and advocate of writers everywhere--has declared the third Friday in May to be Writer's Worth Day. The First Annual Writer's Worth Day was held last May 16th as a way of (in Ms. Widmer's own words) "saying yes to competitive wages and no to accepting what isn't worthy of our talents."
Prospective clients: writing is a skill. If you could do it yourself, you wouldn't be asking us. You expect a professional outcome, so you should be willing to pay a professional's fees.
My fellow writers: take a stand for your skills. Charge what you're worth! And mark your calendars for the 2nd annual Writer's Worth Day, May 15th, 2009.