How Much I Got Paid: #1
Title: "How Do I Become a Male Porn Star?"
Date: December 2, 2013
Word count: 1,262
Notes: I wrote this piece on spec; in other words, I wrote the piece and then set about placing it. Typically, I don't write on spec. Instead, I pitch editors, get a contract, and then write the piece. I probably spent a total of two, maybe three hours writing this story over a couple days. I ended up sending it to five different editors. Four expressed interest. But there were various issues with those various responses. Eventually, I heard back from the editor I'd sent it to at Salon; I'd worked with her previously and knew she wasn't going to fuck up the piece. I believe I was paid $300 for the last piece I wrote for Salon several years ago; this time, she said she could only offer me $150. I accepted. The piece was good, I trusted the editor, and in this instance, I wanted the piece where it belonged and didn't give that much of a shit about the money.
Conclusion: It's OK to write on spec -- sometimes.