The Somewhat Happily Ever After to Last Week's Writing Woes

End of last week, I mentioned some headaches I got in regards to not getting paid over work I had done, along with the feeling of rejection that comes with an unhappy client (or in my case, the client of my client). It wasn't my end of the week pick me up, and it clearly upset me enough to want to blog about it (not that I really need too many excuses to blog). But I am happy to announce there is a bit of a rainbow at the end of this once dark tunnel.

My client ended up agreeing to pay a 'kill fee', which essentially means I ended up with a bit of compensation. It wasn't anywhere near what I was originally going to be paid, but it is enough to make me believe my few hours of work wasn't a complete exercise in wasting time.

I ended up getting the amount after discussing with my client that I didn't feel it entirely fair that I walk away with nothing, because I felt I followed the instructions exactly. In the end, my client is a fan of my work, and understood the best way to continue our relationship was to give some form of compensation. It wasn't anything he had to do, because we did not have a contract in place. It definitely was appreciated and will make me more likely to continue to work with him.

Then of course, there is the whole boost to the ego. His attempts to appease me shows how much he values my work and wants to keep me around to continue our relationship. I'd consider getting money and a boost to the ego to be a pretty decent end to the woes.

Though, I still think I learned my lesson on passing on the contract phase of negotiations. I really do think it was mighty big of him to agree to a fee that he was not obligated to hand out.

Now, what can my fellow writers learn from this?

It's good to not crawl into a fetal position after things with your work fall apart (or least, not for more than a minute). I could have taken the whole situation poorly and just walked away from it. I decided to put value and confidence in my work, and make it clear to my client that I felt something was owed to me. Because remember, he wasn't the one that didn't like my work, but rather one of his clients (he was acting as the intermediary). There was a possibility that he would have just decided I was too much a pain in the ass and permanently cut me out, but I was confident enough in my past work record with him that he'd try to keep me around. It worked. I now feel I didn't waste part of my Thursday afternoon.

You need to put value in your work. You need to remember if you want to make a living off writing, then you need to see writing as your small business. Which means you need make sure you hunt down those people who owe you money. You need to fight when there is a chance you're not going to get compensated. You need to realize your work is worth what you're charging, and that you deserve fair compensation for all your hard work and effort.

I'm glad I actually followed this advice this time.

But of course, none of this would have happened if I just stuck with my policy of having a contract. But still, hooray for a somewhat happily ever after!