Friday, June 8, 2018

What should I do?

Decisions, decisions! Is it always about principle?

I have been writing for many years, and have received accolades from far and wide. I have written for publishing credits only. I have written for money, and even chocolate... yes I won a contest on the theme of candy, and part of the prize was my favorite dark chocolate.

I have ghost written stories, letters, poems and articles that resulted in prizes of complete wedding packages, a scholarship, and publication for money (for others.) I created an anthology for a publishing company, and I have published in more than two dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

I have published for free for a cause, most recently on the topic of mental health to assist others. As a result of my words, I have been contacted by editors, publishers, friends and strangers in far away lands. I have made contacts and friends, and have helped others. I feel the need to give back, and I do. I present workshops, speak at libraries, conferences, and advise other writers.

I have been advised by well known authors that writers should never give their work away. I disagree. I have done so,  but this evening, I find myself reluctant to sign a contract. The misunderstanding is on my part. I mistakenly thought an acceptance came with a stipend as well as publication.

I made a decision based on the merit of my words, and I have to stand on conviction this time.
Have you ever withdrawn a submission. If I do not value my words...

Hope you are busy writing.


I inadvertently deleted a positive blog comment from the editor/publisher of the publication. Marc, please feel free to repost.  


Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--One, great picture. Is that a new photo? You look fabulous.

Two, I think you should follow your gut. Your instincts tell you to not sign, and I think your instincts have served you well for many years.

You are well known enough and are talented enough and prolific enough, that you don't have to worry about getting another publishing notch in your belt. Giving away your work when it's not a worthy cause or when it's not going to lead to something positive (a connection, a percentage) is pointless for you.

Stick to your guns!

Val said...

If you have second thoughts, don't sign. You have a plethora of publishing credits. You've given back. Now it's time to make them buy the cow. Not that YOU'RE a cow, of course! The free flow of the milk of human kindness has to end SOMETIME.

Sandi said...

Trust your gut.

"I mistakenly thought an acceptance came with a stipend as well as publication."

They should pay you. Marc, what's up with that?

Lynn said...

You are correct in your thinking... or at least that's my opinion.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--I'm going to leave another comment, since like you, I had a letter accepted for this publication, but I'm making a different decision.

Like you, I was pleased they liked my submission. Unlike you, I don't see my letter being "universal." I wrote the letter specifically for that anthology, and I don't see another market for my letter. It was a chance to vent... and I hope others can relate to it.

As a writer, you have a way of relating to many people and different markets with a single piece. You need to do what's right for your piece.

Linda O'Connell said...

Thank you all for your comments.

I completely agree with Sioux. Shrinking markets make writing frustrating some days. Sioux, I am so happy you found a home for your letter, I suggest you write another one, as submissions are still open.

I did a lot of soul searching, and appreciate everyone's input.

Top be clear, I made a mistake, and Marc is not at fault in any way. I wrote "stipend" next to my submission on my calendar. My oops!

Pat Wahler said...

On the (unfortunately) rare occasions when I submit anything, lately it comes with the expectation of some sort of compensation. It's fine to write for "exposure", but whether an artist, illustrator, writer, or actor; one cannot make a living by routinely donating their work. A contribution to help a worthy organization is one thing, but regularly giving away work (in my opinion) devalues it. Unless, of course, the artistic endeavor is considered strictly a hobby (which is awesome, too!) with no expectation of anything more than another publishing credit. I suppose it comes down to goals and intentions.

Connie said...

I think you made the right decision. You deserve to be paid for your work--doesn't everybody? This is especially true when you have such an excellent proven track record.

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