Sometimes I get a little testy when upon finding out what I do, random people ask me to read a chapter or novel or book of poetry or several essays. I don't mean to be testy, and I suppose people assume that writers have all this "time" on our hands. We "are" just sitting around at home, and what's another 300 pages to contemplate?
I hold back; I don't burst out with what I am worth per hour. I don't lather up up the mouth. Quietly, I tell them my process and then tell them my fee, and mostly, folks go ahead and retract their request. Now and again, they sign on up.
My fee, of course, is nothing compared to a lawyer's hourly (please, don't make me go there again). Nothing like a plumber's. Michael and I had a designer come and talk to us for 2 hours, and she made more than I do an hour. So it's not like highway robbery or even my accountant's fee for chatting with him for an hour or for doing my college age's son's tax return with one entry. But all of us have education and experience on our sides; all of us are professionals with skills and talents that deserve some kind of fee (just maybe not as high as a lawyer's. I can't get off this one yet).
So I surprised myself this week by resenting a few folks' fees. I actually had the "What in the hell are you talking about?" reaction. I went through the "You are out of your flipping mind!" feeling. It's likely I wanted to utter the "You are whacked out and should be sent to your room" response.
But after some careful research and comparison shopping (which I am not known for) I realized that their fees were just about right on for their industries. This is what people charge for such work. This is what people get, those who have the training in this field.
The good news is that I held my tongue (I'm not know for that, either) and will call the vendors who gave me bids and hire them. I will respect their training and knowledge and remember how it feels when someone asks me to "Just read a little."
I will pay them what they believe their services are worth.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org