I want to thank everyone for your words of wisdom, encouragement and advice. A decision has been made now that my blood has cooled.
Firstly I want to acknowledge some of the comments I received. I really appreciated them and here are some valuable lessons I have learnt.
- I should of asked for payment when I started writing for the first paper. This is too true, I wanted to gain experience as a writer which would hopefully get me paid work in the future. So even asking for a minimum of $30 to cover my ingredient cost would be better than nothing and working up to full payment of a syndicated article as time progresses.
- I should of asked earlier. This is the third and last time I will ask to be paid. After previous attempts of asking for payment all being declined, I was glad to hear that this time it was actually sent to the head of department. All other requests were flat out denied as all contributions to the papers were not paid – apparently. Even the journalists? hmmm. Lesson, the first attempt of asking for payment was after one year of writing, proving that I was good at the job and met deadline each month. At this moment I was still only published in one paper. The second time I asked for payment was last year when I discovered that my articles were used in several other free papers on the Sunshine Coast. This the last time is because I realize that my time is valuable now that I have a three month old and no income.
- Its good exposure. Well yes and no. I know plenty of people pick up the paper just to read my recipe each week as I keep the topic about our local food and what is in season the focus. People take the recipe make it and occasionally I get feedback and a few folk start following me on social media. I am sure that more people are aware of my blog here on the coast now. It has not helped me gain any financial funds when offering workshops or classes.
- Time to start a cookbook. I originally started putting a cookbook together at the start of the year only to realise the dream of a great cookbook would cost a small fortune. It would cost $40 each to get printed and I couldn’t justify adding my own time on top of that to make it affordable. Maybe an Ebook is the way to go. I plan on writing one this week (a small one) about preserving as I am talking about that at the Qld Garden Expo.
- I am valuable. You know its hard sometimes to acknowledge ourselves and the work that we do. I know that I make a difference to people each week with my recipes. I am worth more than nothing and its time that I value myself and the time I put into things. Life has changed I have an adorable bundle of joy and I value that time as precious. The time I work for others should be accountable. Its time for me to get some love back.
- Print media is dying. Yes it is, however if they are using my content then it should be compensated. I am sure that there are many people out there willing to work for free and get the experience. Now it is time to look at the blog and see how I can make money from it.
So what is the PLAN:
Today I am going to take my time and write an email response to both the editor whom I send my recipes to each week along with the sub-editor of the APN paper. My response will be stating how much I would like to be paid and that I have a following who pick up the paper just to read the recipe. I will explain my new terms for working for them (and getting paid) and see what the response is.
With the response either going two ways. One they start paying me and value my work OR two they don’t really care that I have bills to pay as long as they are getting paid that is all that matters and they can get plenty of other free recipes to fill my spot.
Will keep you updated and thanks again to everyone who has fueled me to ask for more.
UPDATE: 2nd June 2014
After a wonderful conversation with the current Sub Editor. Looks like there may be hope for me yet. Over the coming weeks a few changes are going to be made with-in the papers and they are looking to take me on possibly as a syndicated writer. This is no promise – however an outcome will happen over the next four weeks. This could be great news and mean that my work will be paid for and reach a larger audience. Maybe its time to write that cookbook after all. All you need to do is ask.
Will keep you posted …