Friday, December 7, 2012

Dodging a Bullet

A freelance writer is always on the lookout for the next writing gig.  An article, a column, a book, a ghostwriting gig...whatever pays the bills.

But you don't take every offer (unless you're desperate).  As I was going through a box of magazines today, I found one that reminded me of a job offer I did NOT accept - not at the salary I would've been offered.

I'm not going to name names, but I was once offered a job with a small publisher who was a legend in his field.  As an audition, he asked me to take a grammar test and to rewrite a badly-done article.  I aced both.

Once he decided he wanted me to work for him, he turned on the charm.  He told me what a shame it was that I wasn't working full-time as a writer.  And he offered me a job.

The job would have required me to move to his city.  I thought about it, then sent him a note with the salary I required to make the move and work for him.

Evidently, I named too high a salary.  He never even responded to my note.

The magazine I found today had an interview with someone else who worked for this publisher.  He describes the publisher as a megalomaniac on par with movie producer Robert Evans.  And in addition to being an overbearing, controlling, self-aggrandizing slave driver, this publisher was cheap.  He never would have paid me what I asked for.  He actually paid highly-trained, college-educated employees at minimum wage!

So I dodged the bullet on that one.  But, at the time, when the publisher didn't even try to negotiate with me on a salary, I was depressed for weeks.   I told myself, "if I hadn't asked for so much, I could've worked for a legend!"

Now I'm glad it turned out the way it did.


  1. It's good to know your worth -- and have written validation that all the second-guessing was for naught


    1. Thanks, Marion. Yes, you need to know what you're worth in whatever market you compete in.

  2. Things somehow have a way of working out the way they are suppose to and sometimes what seems like a curse turns out to be a blessing.