Uninspired? Get Revenge

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on December 15, 2010 in Freelance Writing Business
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Usually when I do this column, I don't talk much about myself. That's probably because A) I am boring and B) I do not have a second item. That is how boring I am. Sorry. In any case, I'd like to tell you a little tale of something that recently happened that is totally 100% true that's not so funny as it is entertaining. I'll probably throw in a joke or two to keep you interested. That is because I am nice. And awesome.

I found this site that I enjoyed visiting immensely was hiring through Craigslist, and they posted a pretty darn good rate. I thought that was brilliant, so I applied for and got the job because I have a kickass portfolio and darn it I wanted the job. They could tell because I told them in an email. That, and I explained carefully in detail how I'd be willing to debase myself in any number of ways to get the job. I do not recommend that as part of the job process to be frank with you.

Anyway, I posted my first article and it was popular beyond my wildest dreams. I ended up getting almost 130 comments on just one post, and that felt pretty incredible. I'd never posted a blog post that was that controversial, well-read, or discussed before. Now and since, there is not a single post that's appeared on that site's blog that has been nearly as popular, so I was feeling like a stud. I started to wear my sunglasses at night, changed my attitude completely, and alienated my friends until a humbling event forced me to examine my life–at least that would have happened if I was in an '80s movie. Instead I just got my paycheck and gratefully moved on.

I wrote a second article that was along the same lines. Essentially, I was to become their columnist, and I was excited. They told me that it would be on a monthly basis (what?) and that I would have to scale back from my previous length because they couldn't pay me as much as they did for the first article (what??). So all of a sudden, that sweet rate was half of what I thought it would be. Still, monthly isn't bad so I put it together and then I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And you get the point. It turns out that they have some funk-ass publication schedule that apparently is none of their writers' business, and that my article wasn't slated to come out for another month beyond what they'd initially projected. Oh, and by the way, they don't pay until publication, which I told them was a steaming pile of rabbit turds. They shot back that I should have read the writers' agreement to which I cleverly replied that they never sent me and then they said that it didn't matter so I didn't feel so clever anymore.

So rather than get pissed, I went to their next-largest competitor, gave them a pitch they couldn't refuse, and now I write for them. I just landed the gig last week.

The point of this story is that revenge is a dish best served garnished with fat wads of cash. True, my rate isn't the same as what it was with them, but I'm posting so much more frequently that I'm getting the same as what I'd have supposedly gotten with them anyway. In this time of holiday cheer, remember: don't forget to screw the jerks if they hold out on you. It's what Santa would say.

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Clint Osterholz is a freelance writer who thinks he's awfully funny, and is surprisingly not a disappointment to his parents. You're always free to check out his portfolio if you'd like someone to be funny, or maybe write something a little more serious. Subscribe to my posts (only posts from this author).

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2 Comments

  1. Anita Cooper December 20, 2010 Reply

    I love the saying that “revenge is a dish best served cold,” but now my you’ve given me a new favorite saying!

    Now if it were me, I’d go a step further and email your previous client a link to your new and better client’s site! lol

    Merry Christmas!

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