Re: [Long] Making Money in Technical Writing & Roger Peterson

Subject: Re: [Long] Making Money in Technical Writing & Roger Peterson
From: Robin Allen <rmallen -at- TEXAS -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 12:23:36 -0600

Hear, hear, Bob.

I have about two and a half years under my belt as a contract technical writer.
When I started, I read all the books about starting your own business, including
pricing your services. I learned that I should base my hourly rate on the number
of *billable* hours I'll work per year, which are typically fewer than the
captive hours of 2080/year, and I should factor in the added costs for taxes,
insurance, etc.

I knew what I was getting into when I started -- more work up front to get the
contract, more administrative duties, and possibly longer hours -- but I
wouldn't even consider doing anything else. In fact, it turns out that I work
about the same hours per week as I did as a captive, but I make *a lot* more
money. And I have more free time, and I'm happier, and I stop and smell the
roses once in a while . . . .

Contracting is not for everyone, but it sure works for those of us who want to
make it work.

Bob Morrisette wrote:

> Here are my comments about Andrew Plato's discouraging remarks
> about being a contractor. (aplato -at- easystreet -dot- com)
> >I have been
> >freelancing now for almost two years and I work WAY more than I ever did as
> >a full-timer. It is not because I have a ton of clients, but because there
> >are so much work involved in setting up a company, marketing yourself, and
> >negotiating with clients.
> When I was contracting, I never had any of these problems because I
> worked through agents who gave me more work than I could handle,
> did the marketing, and handled negotiations.
> >The reality is, most freelancers are overworked, heavily
> >taxed, and often teetering on bankruptcy. Sure, you can make a lot of
> >money. But not without great expense to your sanity, social life, and
> >skills.
> Is this a troll, Andrew? Every contractor I know that is competent is
> doing very well and enjoys their work. If you are experiencing all
> those problems, I suggest you seek a new line of work or find
> a "permanent" position."
> Bob Morrisette
> writer1 -at- sabu -dot- Eng -dot- sun -dot- com

Robin Allen
Twenty-Six Letters, Inc.
210-696-8721 voice
210-696-8724 fax

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