Just Say No to Spec Work

An article by writer Mark Evanier is about out working on spec. In his
article, Evanier refers to “Unfinanced Entrepreneurs”

He is quoted,

Unfinanced Entrepreneurs exist because of a fiction about creative people, so widely believed that even some of us writers and artists accept it. The fiction is that writing and drawing are not assets…they are things we whip up out of thin air and which cost nothing to create. If someone steals your work from you, you can always bat out another for nothing.

If you believe this, it’s your right, but you do our profession a grave disservice. Every time someone tramples on our work — ruins it, changes it, mauls it, damages it — it’s because they have no respect for it. And, generally speaking, they have no respect for that which cost them nothing.

They think writers and artists “just knock it out” but we don’t…not really. And even when it seems like we do, it’s because of a lifetime of developing whatever skills we bring to each project. My best pal, Sergio Aragonés, once was selling some sketches he’d done. A browser was interested in one but blanched at the hundred-buck price tag.

“How long did it take you to draw that?” he asked.

“About a half-hour,” Sergio answered.

The man was horrified: “You expect me to pay you a hundred dollars for a half-hour’s work?”

Sergio showed uncommon restraint — at least for Sergio. He calmly said, “You’re not paying for the half-hour it took me to do the drawing. You’re paying for the forty-one years it took me to learn how to do that.”

*****
The most important admonition I can offer is to steer clear of those who want to exploit you. Even when you think you have no better prospect, avoid the Unfinanced Entrepreneur. They not only steal your work…they embezzle a little bit of your soul.

Mark’s Link: http://povonline.com/cols/COL210.htm

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