Friday, November 2, 2007

Hillary Clinton speaks at Auraria campus

As some of you may know, Hillary Clinton spoke at a political rally at Auraria Campus on October 23rd. Thanks to the fact that I am currently taking Intro to Political Science, I ended up being able to attend.

I have mixed feelings about Hillary. She seemed to be promising a lot that I am not sure that she can actually accomplish. After all, we are talking politics here; other people have a say (vote) in what is actually going to happen.

Anyway, I wrote up an article and submitted it to Associated Content. They offered me five dollars upfront payment for exclusive right. Yes, it was a low amount and I took it.

Was the article worth more? Maybe. Maybe not. If you like you can read it, and judge for yourself.

Hillary Clinton Talks About Her Goals for America at Auraria Campus in Denver, Colorado.

The issue I would like to talk about is "Was it correct to accept the five dollars?"

My answer is yes; it was the correct decision to make. My reasoning behind this is that one I spent the time listening to the speech, and I did take notes.

In part, that was because Roy (he wants us to call him Roy), William Staliwe--my political science professor, was willing to give us extra credit for a one page summary/reaction paper. I am all for the extra credit. So I had notes from that.

And I figured that the worst that could happen was that I would have to settle for performance pay only. So five dollars, though I was hoping for more, was better than nothing.

It only took me a couple of hours at most to write. So less than minimal wage unless I get a lot of page views.

Yet, I have some friends who would automatically say that I shouldn't have accepted this offer. And whenever I talk to them, I sigh. Because as much as they want to make their living as writers, I am not sure that they understand the concept of treating writing as a business. These are the same writers who have given up on Helium, and view Associated Content with some contempt. They are looking for the big score, rather than focusing on what they can already accomplish.

It is not like I didn't get paid for it. I recieved five dollars though paypal for my effort.

And it was a sunk cost already. For those who have not taken economics, a sunk cost is time and money that is already spent. From an economic viewpoint, sunk costs should not have any bearing on correct decisions. If you spend a couple of hours writing a piece, after a hour of listening to a speech, and they only offer you five dollars, you should take it. Unless you know of other markets for it. In my case, I couldn't think of any markets that I had an in with already, so I had a choice between five dollars, or nothing, for a story that had a limited shelf life.

I took the five dollars. Because some money is better than no money.

No one said that being a working writer was going to be easy (except those who have never been working writers, but that is a whole rant for another time).

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