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The Volunteer: Writing for Free

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

To be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1, NLT)

Writing for free: an online devotional for writers based on Proverbs 22:1 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

A Word For Writers

Writing for free or writing to get paid: does the paycheck or lack thereof affect how you go about your writing process?

I was immersed as a volunteer with an organization when the leader asked me to write some content for free

I didn’t mind comping my services. The organization was first-class and well run. In fact, my family had benefited from its work. 

But little did I know how many dozens of hours the content would take to write. 

There was the struggle to create systems to collect stories and testimonials … editing “by committee” …. a series of technical snafus … 

The longer the project dragged on, the more I was tempted to work half-heartedly. After all, there was no money on the line. 

But ultimately, I gave my best effort largely because of pride. The truth is that I didn’t want those involved to think poorly of me. 

A few weeks after the project was completed, I was at an event where I overheard someone talking about what I had written. “I wonder who wrote that content,” one guest said to another. “They’re getting better at it.”

As far as the reader is concerned, content is content. It didn’t matter who wrote it or whether or not the writer got paid. What mattered was that it was good.

If content is not engaging, readers won’t read it. If they don’t read it, the organization suffers and Kingdom work suffers. By extension, the reputation of God and His people suffer because readers think that “Christians don’t care about quality.”  

But if it’s good writing, readers benefit from it – whether or not money exchanged hands.

That’s the real price of writing well in every circumstance: there is more than one reputation at stake. Does your writing advance the Kingdom?

A Wise Word

Always write well. Don’t miss the opportunity to advance the Kingdom.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Thank you for the power of words to move people. Give me good motives as I write. Let my effort be driven by a desire to communicate your truth well. 

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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