How unprofessional is it to complain about jobs?

Published October 12, 2011 by The Author
Leave me alone!

Leave me alone.

Is a writing blog the place to whinge about the issues freelancers may or may not run into in their daily work life? As long as you don’t complain in identifying details about particular clients or employers, can you discuss particular issues you run into with other writers, or is that stuff that’s suppose to be left to locked down forums or what have you? Or are you supposed to shut your mouth, do your work, and be happy you have any jobs at all?

I don’t know… maybe I’m getting my autumn blues (even though I love autumn — it never made any sense to me). Maybe I finally came down a bit from that high of having such awesome work. Maybe I’m just tired and sick. Or maybe I’m just seeing the true colors of so me of the companies I applied to work for.

I really want to hear from other freelancers — or any writers out there. Where do you go to share your disappointments where people won’t look at you like a whiner? Is your blog an appropriate place to share those things? Are there any good forums where you don’t have to pay to chip your way into a snotty qlique that looks down at anyone who makes less than $100 an hour, or scoffs at those who do certain kinds of work?

Ugh. I just want to go back to bed. But I have this assignment that I pretty much had shoved on me about a topic I no knowledge about, and have about 14 hours to complete. If I say no, that’s the end of any job from that company.


Sparkly Grumble

3 comments on “How unprofessional is it to complain about jobs?

  • Writing’s for the solitary, or at least for those confident enough not to need the backpatting, reinforcement, community, approval of peers. Even hack writers, maybe particularly hack writers. Hacks have never been held in high regard among the literati, and every writer scorns what he is when he sees the prostitution in others he’s striving to become. Love it or leave it.

    • There’s nothing wrong with looking for a community of like-minded people you can ask questions like this, especially when you’re just starting out. Frankly, I never would have learned how to write at all if I hadn’t been part of a supportive and tough fiction community when I first started out. Fiction is really my game — I’m used to the quiet when it comes to pro writing (as opposed to the fun old days of hobby writing), and I have a writing group and first readers who are no-bullshit when it comes to my fiction. If it sucks, they say so. If it’s utterly unpublishable, they tell me not to bother. Whether I choose to take their advice is up to me, of course. But freelancing is something different altogether. It’s a constant struggle to figure out what the hell is going on when every contractee or contract manager wants something completely different, some reasonable, some completely batshit. But a woman has to make a living, so I try to dance the dance, and there’s no shame in seeking advice from the wiser and more experienced when they’re willing to give it without being pretentious assholes.

      As far as the “literati” and other writing snobs go, I could care less. I write pulpy horror, dark fantasy, and paranormal romance and I feel no shame for that. I like to tell stories, I like to entertain people. I don’t care if my novels drop off the face of the earth in six months (considering I’m still getting royalties from my novels 6 years later, that’s not necessarily the case). I came into this business with love, and eyes wide open: I’ll never be rich, I’ll never be famous. I do it because I like it, and because a few other people might like it too. Anything else is just gravy. Freelancing is just a way to put chow on the table (except the pet stuff, because I love that.)

      I haven’t left writing in 20 years, so I don’t figure my little crisis is going to stop me now. If this job doesn’t work out, I’ll move right along to the next. I was just wondering if freelancers feel free to complain about some of the BS that happens in the industry, or do they shut up and take it?

      Just out of curiosity, are you calling me a hack? Not that you’re not entitled to your opinion, because frankly, I sort of consider myself a pulp writer. Writing is art, sure, but not everything that comes out of the pen has to be Shakespeare (who, incidentally, I believe is completely overrated.).

  • Hey there! Interesting post…I freelance and I love it, but I must admit sometimes, very questionable, to say the least. I actually had a rant on my blog a few weeks back, but decided after a few days to take it down. Why, you ask? One: I’m the type of person who completely separates work and personal life, so after re-reading it, I felt it to be too much of a find, if perhaps a nosy co-worker were to dig up some info. So, in the end, I now use my friends and family to vent to about just about anything.

    It’s okay to ask questions, you never know how many others are asking the same damn thing.

    Thanks and have a good rest of your day!

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