Sunday, July 26, 2009

PRO BONO

I don't know exactly when it all started or how it all happened but over the past several years I have somehow become the unofficial "official" writer for many of my friends. You name it, I've written it. Speeches, long and short. Some to be delivered in front of a small audience, maybe 20 or 30 people, some in front of huge assemblies, councils or boards numbering in the hundreds. Letters - applications to graduate school, grant proposals, grant requests, cover letters and personal letters. Resumes. Welcome addresses. Press releases. All totaled, I'm sure I've done this no less than 20-25 different times for other people. And that's a safe estimate. It's not a big deal really and I'm generally happy to help my friends out. I've never asked anyone for compensation, however it seems that most often, my friends come to me with deadlines impending and a "Can I get that by tomorrow, please?"

I don't remember telling anyone though that this was my passion, my delight, that it was fulfilling for me. I also definitely don't go around telling people that I'm available to do this either. I don't even generally share that I wrote something for someone less there be any fallout because of it or less it should give someone the idea that they should ask me too, lol.

Of late however, things have been getting a little bit out of control. Requests for this letter and that resume and that cover letter just keep coming in. Are my friends telling one another that I'm the go-to "ghost" writer? But these friends are in different places, from Fayetteville, to Tallahassee to the Bahamas to California so I'm not sure what's the deal. Maybe I need to start charging people and then they won't be so quick to bombard me with every little thing, lol.

The other day a friend of mine asked me to write her two paragraphs to welcome everyone to an outdoor event.....I was like, are you sure you can't do that yourself?? I knew she could and so I actually, surprisingly said sorry, no. That I didn't have the time. After all it was Wednesday evening when I got her email and she needed it first thing Friday morning. I think it was only the second time I've said no to someone who's asked me to write something for them, but I felt slightly that she was taking a little bit of an advantage of me. I haven't heard from her since but I'm sure she got through it OK, especially because I've written a couple welcome speeches for her before! I'm figuring she could just do a little cut and paste and be just fine. Don't you think so?

Anyway, I wrote another resume today and I was happy to do it, but maybe I'm gonna have to make this a side gig or something. I'm not sure. I guess I'll just see how it goes and whether or not pro bono is still the way to go....I'm sure when all is said and done the answer is still gonna be yes.

6 comments:

Eternal Lizdom said...

You truly could make an income from it. And I'd bet a lot of those who ask for it now would be willing to pay for it going forward!

Jim and Garret said...

I'm with Liz!

anonymousnupe said...

Hi. Could you pen my comments to this blog entry, please? And I need it ASAP, before Jackie makes another entry and my pithy, funny and affecting comments--that you will write--get pushed to the back pages.

Thank you very much, mon ami.

dejanae said...

shiiiiiiiiiiiiid
u better start charging
id like my 10 percent plz

News Revolver said...

No talent which translates should be free. If those who have come to you were to go to a "professional", that person would charge them, so why shouldn't you?

Buck said...

Surely, the dude is absolutely fair.
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