The first time anyone offered to pay me for my art, I almost peed my pants I was so excited.
It wouldn't of mattered if it was $5, I just yelled, "YES!" like a school girl and felt validated as a writer.
I remember sitting in my car beside The New York Bagel cafe in Edmonton, holding a check for $100 for two biographies and feeling like I had Bono's signature in my hands.
There is usually an initial hump as a writer, where we think it's a hobby or just a blog and don't take ourselves seriously.
I've been writing my whole life.
When I was in Grade three I had a short story published in Stepping Stones about a hamster that had three wishes.
I wrote poems in grade four.
I wrote short stories in junior high and then began writing statuses and notes on Facebook to share my words publicly with the world.
I wasn't sure if Facebook was the place, for my words.
I had a roommate who told me, "Your posts are too open and vulnerable for a Facebook status. Start a blog--it's more appropriate."
I'm so glad I didn't listen to her, as that is where I found the first ounces of my courage to seek a publisher and is also my main outlet for connecting with my readers to this day.
My posts, with just as much heart and vulnerability used to gather around 4-5 likes and an odd comment two years ago.
I have been writing professionally now for just over a year.
In that year I have had several articles that have gone viral, with over a million views and have a daily following of my posts on social media of around 18,000.
One of the current things I am learning about right now is my worth.
I would often shoot below my worth, asking for less and not knowing I was slighting my art by doing so.
It is important when you are first gaining clients and getting paid for your art to ask around to other people at your level as a writer, photographer, painter.
Do the work to see what others are charging.
A fellow writer who has been around for a little longer than I, but I would consider as at the same caliber and quality charges $250 USD for a 500 word guest blog post and $500 for a 1000 word guest blog post.
Getting paid what we deserve involves having a clear intention of the number you wish to make per project, article, year, asking for what we need, and saying "no" to people who don't know our worth.
Talking about money is hard and uncomfortable and if you are an artist branching into this world creating a career I encourage you to do the research and not be paid a penny less than what you know you deserve for your art.
"Earth without art is "eh"" ~Someone wise.
You've got the goodies, and if you find someone who isn't willing to pay what you ask--let them go.
Someone else will.
Another motto I have begun to use, is to look at the clients I have and those who approach me and think, "If I had a million dollars, would I choose to work with this person?"
If my gut says "no", I drop them.
It doesn't matter what my bank account says.
When we accept less than what we are worth or work with people who we don't align with we are lowering our vibration and it will get in the way of us speaking the things into existence we are hell bent on achieving and worthy of.
– Janne Robinson, Writer
See Janne's other posts on Wild Women Do: