Thursday, November 5, 2009

Invoices 101, and Other Classes I WIsh I Had Taken

So, I just made up an invoice for a month of corporate blogging. And I kept thinking, "This shouldn't be this hard. I should already know how to do this? Why don't I know how to do this?" It's just another one of those things that we all are expected to know, but no one teaches us. And it's kind of annoying. Paying bills, serving bills, these are the things we really need to know, but they are treated both like secrets and common knowledge. You either just don't need to know, or it's ridiculous and pathetic that you don't. There's no actual period when you are supposed to learn.

Thank God for Word having examples for me to fill info into. That solved a few of my problems. Some, however, appear to have no template.

Like rates. What does one charge for freelance writing? Apparently if you're a scab, you go for a penny a word or less. If you're awesome, you get a few bucks or more. I'm currently going with ten cents, or six if pushed. I just have no idea. And no one will give me the straight answer. It used to be a buck a word for magazines, but that was years ago and now writing is worth what a random, non-English speaker is willing to charge. How am I supposed to make sure I'm not expensive, but not setting myself up for permanent Mom-residence? I have loans coming into repayment, I'm not just going to work for the sheer thrill. But I'd rather have a little money than none. It's a financial and moral dilemma, because underselling yourself is setting a bad industry precedent. I don't want to be a scab!!!

So after having navigated cover letters, I've got these terrible questions to ponder. And soon there will be fantastic taxes to decipher, and at some point I'm going to need a 401k. Where were these classes? Why did I go through two years of Calculus, but absolutely no real life training? Particularly for Sarah Lawrence students, who might need to make unconventional choices and fend for themselves while everyone else realizes how awesome we are. Hey, it's the humor that helps us through these troubled times...

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