Great read as always Jon — big fan of your work. Going to ramble a bit:
Currently trying to ramp up a side hustle into a more expansive content agency. My rate is a “premium” (3o cents/word) for content marketing and have never been questioned once about it. I am actually confident I could raise this to 40 cents/word without objection. For the few that question my rate, I never fight back. I tell them to hire that Bangladeshi on Fiverr for 2 cents/word. Go for it. Good luck. Let me know how your conversions go.
I can only speak for the tech clients I write for, but the value proposition of charging $150 per 500 word blog post is simple. You get a college educated native English speaker with operational experience in the actual industry. Way cheaper than hiring a fresh grad. Most solid companies will see the value in this. If not, good riddance.
Is tech writing my passion? Absolutely not, but it is interesting and pays. Screenplays take the cake as far as passion projects go. I bleed enough time in that to care less about what other “creatives” think about me.
With that being said, I live in Brooklyn and have “pure creative” friends. You know, poets and novelists. That is a different beast and I feel their struggle. They are leaps and bounds more creative than me, more well-read and well-spoken. I could be quick to judge and blame their ego for their lack of paid opportunities, but I honestly imagine they are hardwired in a way so creative, I would never understand.
Moral of the story, we are all connected in the struggle in one way or another. All creators — let’s support each other, encourage some constructive competition (a la Hemingway), and take pride in knowing we are the only things that will buffer the inevitable domination of AI in the near future.