Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Daily Dilemmas of a Writer

First, let me say that it's GOOD to write. It's GOOD to have clients. It's GOOD to make enough money to pay estimated taxes on a quarterly basis. (sort of...)

That being said, it's a bummer when you regularly encounter the daily dilemmas of writing-dom.

Take, for instance "The Never Ending Rewrite".

Scenario: You agree to create a unique 800-word document for a flat fee of $100. It's due in two weeks. You turn it in on time. The editor praises it, but does need a little more in some areas. You happily complete a rewrite. Now, the editor asks for even more. Skeptical, you add a bit here and there, certain this is your LAST rewrite. But wait! The editor AGAIN has changes...

This happens over and over to me, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps my writing isn't strong enough and the problem lies with me.

Or maybe the writing is decent, but I missed the point.

Or... and I think this is more likely in most cases... the editor wasn't quite sure what he/she wanted UNTIL he/she saw the completed article. At that point, the editor had a brainstorm and decided he/she wanted something different... and that it wasn't necessary to pay extra.

In any case, I know I could easily "tamp down" on such endless rewrites by adding a clause in all contracts and emails that I will only complete ONE rewrite and no more. But what if the editor legitimately has a problem and decides to ask for a second rewrite?

It's a conundrum, isn't it?

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