The other day The Food Lady linked a very interesting article on her Facebook page about photographers always being asked to work for free. I, of course, then sent said article to my friend Tyler Garnham, who, aside from being a hella talented photographer, is also a kick-ass supporter of me and my weirdness (Photo Cheerleader!).

Y’see, Tyler has finally broken down and created his own blog, where he can ramble on to an audience mesmerized by his obvious talent (and incredibly adorable child). Tyler agreed that it’s quite annoying (and far-too frequent) to be asked to use his talents free-of-charge, and it’s certainly not the first time I’ve heard that from other professional photographers that I know.

It sort of got me thinking, though… from time to time I, too, am asked to use my talents for the benefit of others and it never occurs to me to actually charge for it. I guess it just sort of boils down to me not considering myself a “writer” because I don’t have a book published, and my name isn’t JK Rowling, or Stephen King. But I *am* a writer. I am hopeful that one day it will be the way in which I earn my living.

But that’s not ever going to happen if I keep writing things for other people (not good friends, mind) and not ask for payment in return. Accountants don’t do tax returns for free. Dentists don’t fill cavities for free. Boat builders don’t just give away boats for free. Writers should be paid. Photographers, too. Everyone who has a talent that someone needs should be paid for their work. It’s a pretty simple concept, no?

The reason this comes up now, is because yesterday, for the very first time, I actually felt like a real writer. I had sent the first few pages (now the prologue) to Momx7 to have a boo at, and she sent them back with notes. You know, like how a real editor does with a real writer! Cool, huh?

These little moments of dream-becoming-reality are so motivating for me, and they make me just want to sit down, ignore the world, and write.

But you know, not for free.