I am rather offended. As I spent half of my day searching
for my next contract job on-line, I came across several positions for Freelance Writers. Knowing that I write articles and
blog on-line as a Freelancer, I thought I would submit my resume to a few of these positions as well. One of these potential
employers returned my inquiry with a job description: Payment- $10.00 per page to write college papers, research and develop
master’s theses, and subject to hired writers’ performance reviews based on how well the material is received.
Professional writers are sought to research and write papers for our rising students so students do not have to think or worry
about obtaining their own education. Apparently, this is considered a “good” opportunity for writers to earn a
little income. I cannot view this as anything but a degradation of education and an admission that professional writers
are more than capable of supporting the idea that a degree is not worthy of the paper it is printed on. Writers are to sell
their own capable educations and bow down to those paying them to keep quiet about students buying their way into the hallowed
halls of learning.
This practice is as old as time- there have always
been good and bad students. On the other hand, this was a job listing on a professional career board. I am less concerned
with how this reflects on students than I am perturbed about what this says about how our society views professional writers.
The devaluation found in hiring heads to be the work that others take
credit for, without putting forward the value of the writing profession, undermines more than education. This practice strikes
at the heart of our worth as a viable society and puts forth a mentality of money as the only game changer. There
is no respect left, if we allow these practices, for knowledge or skill sets such as writing and research. We will lose our
returns on investments in any endeavors that are meant to achieve.
has been said that given an infinite amount of time and paper, a gorilla trained to bang on a keyboard would eventually pound
out every word Shakespeare ever wrote. It seems there are those that have decided that this means that our evolution in mankind
should be based on our cleverness at lies and the valuation of payment rather than on the fact that we have risen on the strength
of our capabilities to create, understand, and reason.
I did not take
the job offered. Some say that writing is not a profession; it is a gift. Others maintain that most anyone can hold a pen
and write. Those of us who know that skills are learned, crafting correctly is work- not magic, and that minds are preciously
bestowed should not be obliged to bow down so low that a dollar cannot be earned unless we trade in our value as contributors
to the pen and page.
Kimberly A. McKenzie