I Am A Writer This Does Not Mean I Will Write For Free

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If I had a N100 for every time a random blog or magazine asked me to write for their weekly column…I would be a millionaire ..actually just a thousandnaire [sic] but you get my point.

I receive that request at least once a week. Now I am not saying that I don’t get excited or honored by these requests…trust me I do. It means to a certain degree that my once sucky writing style has been globally locally accepted by at least a few blogs and magazines out there. But what I don’t like is the assumption that writing is something that does not require time or effort. I mean people would walk up to you and be like…I have a new magazine, I would like for you to write a weekly column for my magazine. I would require you to write on this topic and that topic, I would need the write ups by Monday so that my editor can get it out by Tuesday, do get back to us when you can begin…and without blinking an eye…walk off. And my mouth will just be open like…wtf (where’s the fufu)…

Honestly, I don’t know about other writers, but It takes me about 3-4 hours to write a good solid article and even longer if it requires research. But magazine owners and editors seem to feel that once they approach a writer the writer should be so honored to write for a magazine, that he leaves all his other things like breathing, having attempting to have sex, watching TV, driving and others to write for their magazine. And there is always one unique thing about all the offers I get…none of them I repeat none of them mention how they can or will compensate you for your work. Its always write for us…the END.

Like seriously…imagine me writing an email to D’banj and being like…hey D’banj I just started a new record label. The name of the record label is Kokolets Inc, we are currently looking for a few singers to drops lines on some of our hot hot tracks. I would love for you to come to our studio at Iwaya Road, Yaba and drop a few of your rhymes. We love the way you scream kokolets and would love to also have a sample of that done at the recording session. Do get back to us as soon as possible as we have to get our hot tracks out by May 2013…THE END

Now I know I am not D’banj but you have to admit that when you approach a person to work for you and offer no means of compensation or benefits (like above)…then you insult that person. You insult his craft, his education, his everything. You always have to offer something to them.

And for the writers out there for christ-sakes know your worth and let people know the time it takes for you to write the ish[sic] you write. If more writers stop writing for free* and start asking to be compensated for their time, then fewer editors, blog owners and magazine owners will flood my inbox with free writing request. Help save my inbox…tell an editor to suck it your worth.

NOTE*: When I talk about compensation, I am not only referring to money. It can be exposure and publicity, but the amount of publicity you get has to be worth your effort in writing.

Ofili is an award winning freedom writer motivational speaker, author, success coach and free entrepreneur who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on twitter , facebook or subscribe to his blog for more success TIPS!” To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here.

He has written two books, How Laziness Saved My Life and the best-selling How Stupidity Saved My Life, to find out how they both saved his life visit ofilispeaks.com his latest book is titled How Intelligence Kills Us and will be coming out in the first quarter of 2013.

Wishing You Extreme Success,


Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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26 comments on “I Am A Writer This Does Not Mean I Will Write For Free

  1. Pele. Like you said, it comes with knowing your worth and realizing that what you write has value.
    This definitely applies to every area of life and is totally different from being arrogant and cocky.

    LOOL, I just saw in the bottom sidebar that this blog can cure cancer, ya not serious AT ALL !!!!
    Sisi Jacobs latest post is tIck-tOckMy Profile

  2. Nice, witty, acerbic (the right side of tart) article.

    It speaks to the side of me which says that people (read:Nigerians) are a selfish lot and more people (again, Nigerians) do not value themselves or the skills they naturally posses.

    Be it the “friend” who knows you have a a thing for calligraphy and brings over 5,000 cards for you to address (for her business that she makes money from), FOC.

    Or is it the darling “Aunt” who thinks your stuffed chicken is divine and so drops off 3 naked birds at your apartment (sans stuffing or spice) for you to roast and stuff for the party which she forgot (?) to invite you to.

    People, be kinder to one another. Value yourself (warts and all).

    Nice one Monsieur Ofili.

    • Ofili

      Thanks Fati…you do raise new points that I did not even touch. I mean the chicken example is so true. People will clearly ignore the fact that you are a busy person and give you numerous tasks all in the name of family…tsk tsk

  3. This is a spot on,well crafted,realistic piece.I have been a victim of writing probono till I realized my worth and discovered the business of my writing craft.We writers need to continually put a value on our craft.The more valuable we become,the better our craft becomes.Welldone Sir Ofili.Have a profitable 2013 .

    • Ofili

      Thanks Ajose…I get that probono stuff so much. Just write for us and when we make money we’ll pay you…or write for us and we will give you a free Magazine…cmon!

      Anyway like you said the more writers know their value the more our art will be respected…

  4. Dude!
    I get tonnes of those requests too.
    I’ve learned the use of these classic, timeless words…
    ‘Sorry, can’t do it
    Works like a charm!’
    Awesone article as always man!

  5. Imagine sacrificing my time with my girlfriend to work for you and at the end all you have to offer is thank you. How do I buy her something to please her and make up the time lost or have a bigger date with her? People need to realize that writing or any form of art is a job. (Money gats to circulate mehn.)

    • Ofili

      Abi o…tell them CJ. Unless it is like GQ magazine or something like that and it is a one-off article…then you can write for free. But when people ask for weekly writings and don’t want to pay…I give them the finger…i mean hug =D

  6. I almost feel intimidated cos i actually haven’t got any of these requests, compared to the people who commented above. But anyway, Mr. Ofili you are always on point with your creative writing skills and one day when i become like you,i will surely get paid for my writing, thanks to this article……
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  7. Oh! Men….. Ayam a late comer. U no include this post for your news letter na *binu mode*…. Before I started getting paid for articles mehn! E no easy. They would just be like “we love your articles, we have been following your blog and we want you to write for us” and I would be like OK. So… Make we talk money. And they wud go like “ehm. U knw we are just starting but as times goes on”..blah, blah blah. See it is not even about d money. (How much dem wan pay? E no even reach two pizza) but they won’t even appreciate YOU…. There was a time I write for free. I even beg to write for free sef (in the name of creating room for personal development) but that time would come when……… Writing no be joke abeg!…

  8. This is so true. They never want to pay. And those that even say that they will pay, many of them are onigbeses, debtors. It’s a shame and you open that mags and see adverts. Likely they have their own side of the story. Sighs. Whatever it is, you are right that until writers start demanding, nothing will happen, we will never be appreciated for our work. Sighs.

    • Ofili

      well written Tee….I need to pay you for that comment…but I owe too many people…lol…on the real good stuff said!

  9. I just stumbles in this article and I just agrees with you! I am a profession writer and every time people expects me to wrote articools for them as a work no pay… is making me to be tired. My work are very valuable!

    Just kidding…

    I really enjoyed the article and I can relate to it, especially the part about how it takes you 3-4 hours to write a good solid article. It’s the exact same way with me… and I thought I was the only one because of the way some of these bloggers spit out like 5 or 6 or 10 articles a day. It’s mostly friends who ask me for articles,speeches,obituary messages etc though…
    May our hustle never be knocked. Amen…
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