A Man of Means. Of Slender Means.

Not sure if any of you have noticed but I’m now officially a £3 a word man. I say officially, but I don’t think it’s official at all. I’d like to make it official though, but don’t know how. Any ideas? Perhaps this counts. Anyway, the copy has been filed, pronounced “Brilliant!” and paid for. Who’d have thought that writing forewords to architecture books would be so illuminating, lucrative and trouble-free?  Not me, and probably not you either. But it is, and perhaps I’ve found my forte.

There are, however, problems with finding my forte. Regular readers will know that there are always problems with finding my forte. First, there’s not a lot of it about. The work, that is. There aren’t an awful amount of architecture books being published and those that are published usually have forewords written by other famous architects, people who are well known for writing about architecture, or famous people who have a relationship with either architecture or the architect. I am none of those things: none. Second, I have Pitching the World to write and after 18 or 19 glorious, carefree months I’ve finally set about pitching with some sort of discipline. Crazy, isn’t it? Yes, after writing this (not at all award-winning) post I’m pitching 25 magazines. Nuts, isn’t it? An update will be waiting for your lovely eyes tomorrow. Probably.

But, Jesus, have you seen how much some of these animals pay? Or rather, how little some of these animals pay? Take the D’s. Darts World (“Articles and stories with a darts theme”, unsurprisingly) offers a far-from-attractive £40-50 per 1,000 words. Now, as a £3 a word man (which I am, I definitely am) I would struggle to write for that amount. I’ve never written for such a low fee but my love of all things darts coupled with my new found enthusiasm for the beast that is Pitching the World could see me – assuming I could think of, write, and get commissioned a suitable idea – working for (wait for this bit, it’ll knock you out) up to a bullseye per thousand. I could do it, just.

After Darts World however, things take a dip, financially speaking. You’d think that after 4-5 pence a word that things couldn’t take a dip, financially speaking, but you’d be wrong. Oh, you have no idea. Hanging out below Darts World looking all ashamed sits Day by Day. Although Day by Day offers a wonderfully barmy mixture of features – “Articles and news on non-violence and social justice. Reviews of art, books, films, plays, musicals and opera; cricket reports” – the rates stink. How much do they stink? They stink to the tune of £2 per 1,000 words, that’s how much. Now, I may not live the rest of my life as a £3 a word man, but I’m certainly not a 0.2 pence a word man. Not yet at least. That said I’m going to give Day by Day a whirl. I love all things cricket and love the idea of getting a cheque for £2. I’m assuming Day by Day pays by cheque.

Finally, and as I seem intent on beating up the D’s, The Dickensian; a publication that “Welcomes articles on all aspects of Dickens’s life, work and character. Payment: none.” Love that, and love the brutality of that colon*. No doubt those brutes at The Dickensian do indeed welcome guff on Dickens’s character at payment:none per word. In fact, I’d welcome articles on all aspects of Pitching the World’s life, work and character if anyone feels up to it. Payment: Booze and Fags per word.


* Please excuse me writing how I “love the brutality of that colon”. It was entirely out of character and I can only assume that I must have watched the Late Review  by mistake one evening when drunk and something has seeped in. If I’m not careful I’m going to start chucking words like Dickensian about and then where will we be? Fucked, that’s where.



14 responses to “A Man of Means. Of Slender Means.

  1. This is why I’m glad I’ve always been poor, because when you have money, you miss it when it’s gone. I’m sure I would be just like you if I’d ever attained the dizzy heights of £3 a word. Which is to say I’m sure I’d be supercilious and arch, and aware of the barbarity of punctuation. But I am none of those things. Except supercilious. And occasionally slightly arch. Good luck to you.

  2. I had to look up both those words Karl Webster, if that is indeed your real name. It seems, then, that I behave or look as if I’m “superior to others” and am “highly disdainful and contemptuous”. I’m also a “structure that spans a space while supporting weight”.
    Reckon you’ve got me nailed. Sort of. Actually, perhaps not really. But good to have you around.

  3. What’s the opposite of slender means? Is it portly means?

    I would pay anything to be a portly man of portly means. (Though it would have to be an amount considerably slendier than the portly means I received).

  4. So Pitch

    I was thinking about something someone amazing (me) once asked you; how much, per word, do you reckon I get paid in my job? Well, I’ve kind of worked it out! I’m not going to word count every piece of work I have ever created, that would be mental, but take a much more scientific approach – emails!

    In my 3 years working as a poorly paid, political pollster, I have sent around 25,000 emails and, taking a random selection of 10, average around 40 words per email – this meaning, just on emails, I have typed around 1,000,000 words.

    Now, for the science, I have estimiated that I spend around 1/2 my time either writing emails, thinking about writing emails or talking to people just to avoid thinking about emails. In 3 years I have been paid around £70,000 – if we split this in half (remember the science?) – this leaves £35,000 for the 1,000,000 words, or, 0.035p per word…


    Can I have a name for your contact at Day by Day?

  5. I am glad I read PTW this morning. I realize now that I spent most of last evening being ‘supercilious’ – it feels good to have a word for my behavior yesterday. I am now going to be even more ‘supercilious’ by going around using the word ‘supercilious’ – fabulous.

  6. What does supercilious mean?

  7. Explaining the meaning of ‘supercilious’ could be seen as supercilious.

  8. It means being very cilious.
    Cilious is like silly-ous.
    Supercilious therefore means being very silly.

  9. So, you mean to say that Pitchy is being a very silly curved structure that supports weight?


  10. Down here in Mexico City, near the second class bus station, you can get eight tacos for 10 pesos! That’s only 50p. Just think, when you get that 2 quid check in the mail, you can practically swim in tacos. But you’d have to use all that cash from your 3 pound/word gig for the plane ticket here. Damn. Well I’m sure we all enjoyed thinking about you swimming in tacos.

    Hasta luego.

    CB x

  11. Are the people in Mexico City supercilious? I need to know this

  12. I love you all, you arch and supercilious lot. I especially love you, L, for your detailed financial analysis of your writing career to date. If you were a £3 a word man – as I am – then you’d have a lot of money by now. But you’re not, so you don’t.
    And CB, that sounds splendid. I’m getting on a plane right away. I’d love to swim in tacos.

  13. The word supercilious is derived from the Latin for ‘eyebrow’. Appropriately enough. Therefore, I raise my eyebrow at each of you in turn. Superciliously. Now stop all this.

    Last night I do believe I fell in love with a 22-year-old Sicilian woman. I am 42. This will not stand. Well, maybe not love. But my God, I want her. I feel properly sick with yearning. And alcohol poisoning.

    I’m looking at her now. She’s just come into the kitchen in this hostel. I feel like a paedophile in need of a haircut. I am in need of a haircut. I am not a paedophile. 20 years is nothing. I am repulsive.

    Hold on, this isn’t PostSecret.com. Why am I telling you this?

  14. Consider it stopped K-Pipe, my readers are animals. I am also an animal.
    I think I love her too, she sounds ace. And I’m only 35. She’ll definitely go for me. Or maybe you. Perhaps she could be Anita Pallenberg and we, respectively, could be Brian Jones and Keith Richards. Bagsy I’m Keith.

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