Business of Writing,  The Writer's Life

Have You Tried Writing a Contract for Yourself as a Writer?

Last week I got angry with myself as a writer. I had just finished the book Five Pages a Day by Peg Kehret and realized that I wasn’t taking myself seriously as a writer. If I can’t take myself seriously as a writer, my readers (if and when I find any) won’t take me seriously either. 

As I perused social media, I found yet another writer friend who had just published a book. I found myself wondering what was wrong with me.

Truth is, what is wrong with me is that I haven’t learned how to be my own boss yet. I’m not treating my writing like the career I would like it to be. I’m like so many wannabe writers who don’t spend quality time writing, but they do a lot of bitching about not having readers or a following, but they don’t finish the project they are working on, or if they do, they must polish it to perfection.

I needed to tell myself enough. To do that, I realized I needed to hire myself, which meant I needed to determine what questions I would ask myself as a potential employee and what qualities I would want in myself as an employee. It also found me generating a list of job duties I needed to perform. This prompted quite a list. I also gave my so-called company a name.

As a student, I had my days dictated to me by my parents and teachers. As a teacher, I had my days dictated to me by the administration, the curriculum, the bells, the students, and the parents. I had 45 minutes to get through any specific lesson. I had only so many days that I could devote to a single unit. I had only so much time to grade a stack of papers or compile grades for report cards.

When I retired from teaching, I was master of my day. Except, I had no idea how to be master of my day.

Hiring myself, put some definite expectations on me.

Here is my personal contract with myself:

Employee Contract with Rebecca Kojetin Creative

This employment contract, dated May 26 in the year 2021, is entered into by Rebecca Kojetin Creative and Rebecca Kojetin of deleted city, Tennessee. This document constitutes an employment agreement between these parties and is governed by the laws of Tennessee.

IN CONSIDERATION of this employment contract, the parties agree to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Employment

The employee agrees to carry out the responsibilities and duties set out by this contract and their job description. The employee also agrees to comply with all company policies and procedures. 

  1. Position

It is the duty of a writer with Rebecca Kojetin Creative to perform all job functions and duties. Rebecca Kojetin Creative may add other duties as needed within the scope of the employee’s position.

  1. Employee Schedule and Compensation
  • Rebecca Kojetin will work a minimum of 4 hours a day (1 hour minimum per project) writing pieces and completing writing projects, including Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Rebecca Kojetin will act as her own proofreader, fact checker, and editor before a piece is published.
  • Rebecca Kojetin is responsible for building an audience by marketing each piece.
  • As compensation for her work, Rebecca Kojetin will be paid the entire earnings for each article, poem, story, fiction, or nonfiction work published before applicable taxes. 
  1. Office Time VS Non-Office Time

The employee acknowledges that her work with Rebecca Kojetin Creative is mobile work and can be completed in the office or on the road. Therefore, not being able to appear at the office does not constitute an acceptable time off. 

  1. Duties
  • The writer will develop an editorial calendar of topics and titles for both Rebecca Kojetin: Life as I Know It, a blog focused on helping women become the best version of themselves, AND Ink & Keyboard, a blog focused on writing education and the writing profession. The writer will also be responsible for creating and posting well-written articles and publishing a newsletter for both of these sites, as well as maintaining a social media presence on Facebook, MeWe, Gab, and Pinterest.
  • The writer will regularly compose articles or import appropriate articles for Medium.
  • The writer will develop the outline for The Angel’s Share and complete the rough, first draft of the novel by July 20, 2021. She will complete any necessary research and reading either during or after said writing to make the novel historically accurate.
  • The writer will maintain an “ideas” file so that she never runs out of material.
  • The writer will complete both morning pages and prompt pages during the workday.
  • The writer will read and respond to various blog posts and Medium articles that will benefit and build an audience for her work.
  • The writer will develop Opt-in material for both Rebecca Kojetin: Life as I Know It and Ink & Keyboard.
  • The writer will develop the curriculum for her own DIY: MFA in writing and follow said plan.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Employer has caused this agreement to be executed by its duly authorized officers and the Employee has set his hand as of the date first above written. 

SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED in the presence of: 

________________________________________ [Name of employee] 

________________________________________ [Signature of Employee] 

________________________________________ [Name of Employer Rep] 

________________________________________ [Signature of Employer Rep] [Title] 

Stay tuned for how this experiment works. See you soon.

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