The national average for editors is $65,402. Less for writers. More for bingo managers, less for prosthodontists. I tell someone I want to be a writer when I grow up, and they look at me with something worse than confusion: pity. Much like the look they give when I say I’m pursuing an MFA. In poetry, to boot. “Writers don’t get paid that much, you know.” As if I didn’t know. I know. And if I didn’t know, I would know by the time I start searching for jobs as a writer. The for jobs I do find on freelance websites, clients want to pay me $5/hour to edit 30 articles in 1 week. No.
It’s not like they don’t understand our value. They do, otherwise they wouldn’t be putting out these calls and requiring so much of a freelancer. Must speak perfect English, have never made a mistake in your life. Must have worked 1000 hours on other projects. Must be able to write 16 articles per day, copyedit 16 more, use SEO and Google Analytics to make the copy efficient and deliver a speech about it to St. Peter to enter the gates of heaven. Must charge less than your worth.
So they understand its value but try to cop it on the cheap. I don’t know if that’s better or worse than the folks who need an editor but don’t think editors are necessary or should get paid what they’re worth.
Writers and editors are needed more now than ever before. With the growth of the all-tech-everything culture, people have forgotten the fundamentals of communication at a time when they use it the most. Facebook statuses that sound dumb AF; poorly written self-important messages; proposals, in which the writer misspells the benefactor’s name, asking for money. And autocorrect doesn’t help because it doesn’t know the difference between the correct word and correct spelling.
It would be one thing if those folks tried to get better on their own. But they don’t. They’re okay with sounding dumb. They think, everyone’s dumb these days, no-one will notice if I am too.
I mean, where are people’s priorities? They spend real life money on trash like cable, watching people dumber than they are (but who actually make money off their stupidity). Fork out $1,000 on a table at a not-that-great strip club. Bet on a basketball game they knewwww their side wasn’t gonna win, but pride, man. Yet people don’t want to pay someone with the knowledge and the skills and the chops to make them sound less dumb than they already do? To make sure they use the right version of there? Is it really no longer important to be perceived as competent?
Why is it that what humans need the most they value the least? For example, women.
It is not okay to pay someone $50 to look at 50,000 pages of your clichéd, disorganized writing. It is not okay for me to read your huh? sentences and work my ass off to turn them into real English, for you to them turn around and pay me $5/hour.
Next time you feel like scrimping on an editor, look at yourself in the mirror and cackle at your reflection because you are a JOKE.
Go out, learn grammar. Pay an editor what they are worth. Be a better person.