The business of writing is very often a set of knowns combined with a small number of processes.
You know what you're pitching for, you know your capabilities, you know your aspirations and you know the payment you can look forward to if:
a) you're hired for the gig
b) you deliver the goods
Often the surprises fall into one of very few categories:
1) changes to the requirements
2) changes to the payment agreement
Now, every month or so I take on some gratis work. Generally, but not exclusively, the recipient is a non-profit of some kind. Other times, it's a start-up that is just getting up a head of steam. In all cases, I've done it because the project appeals to me and because I believe that I can make a difference.
There are also benefits to me of course, in that:
- I get to try new areas of work that I might never have encountered before.
- I to test my skills and to pick up key learning.
- I end up with valuable feedback and often a testimonial.
But it's not about the money though. And, while I'm very keen on the idea of running a business that's first and foremost about values and principles, I will admit to having a modicum of scepticism about how to do that and still be sufficiently profitable.
This week, however, life threw me a welcome curve-ball. I received a payment and thanks for some gratis work I did recently. And I have to say, it's making me think that maybe it IS possible to do business another way.