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Why I Write for Free
February 28, 2013

A few months ago, I was cogitating on my upcoming appearance as a panelist at IACP where a bunch of us will be talking honestly about making money as food writers and I realized that to be totally honest, I will have to admit that sometimes I write for free. This is what spawned the writing of what is, for me, a very difficult and scary piece at Avidly.

Unless theyíre independently wealthy, I donít believe anyone should work for free. However, I will admit that I have written for free. And I continue to do so somewhat compulsively.

You see, thereís this huge rush that comes with finishing a piece that thrills you to the pit of your writerís core.

Fair Warning: None of what I say here should used by sites or publications who should pay as an excuse to not pay. If you get millions of pageviews and sell ads and are owned by a corporation, you should pay your writers, and shame on you if you donít. All Iím trying to do here is be honest about the reasons why I donít always get paid for what I write.

First off, I donít write for free perpetually. I happily took money for my book, which I would not have written for free, and I continue to write for various paper and online publications for pay. Secondly, I will never write an assigned piece for free.

Starting with basics and the obvious, with a few exceptions, everything I write on my own site is something Iíve written for free, or am republishing from those paying venuesĖ Bay Area Bites, BlogHerĖ for which I write. I donít have ads at Grub Report ó mostly because I find the entire process with brokers and income tax issues to be choked with red tape and confusion ó and I donít take paid endorsements. (Iím not being precious about paid endorsements, Iíve simply never been offered them so I canít say whether Iíd do them or not.)

The other main sticking point in my personal writing-for-free debate is that I donít always consider writing "work."

Sometimes writing just happens...

Read the rest of Why I Write for Free at Avidly.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic