Hourly rates for writing? No way!

Nobody likes a nasty surprise. Or the nagging sense of being ripped off.

Whether you're engaging a tradesman or a master craftsman, you want to know what the job will cost you. That's why you ask for a firm quote before work commences.

It should be the same when engaging a professional writer.

Hourly rates leave clients drifting in a deep sea of vulnerability. What will this job end up costing? How long will it take?

Hourly rates reward the inefficient. There is no incentive for the writer to deliver the job early. In fact, the tick of the clock motivates the writer to linger and waste time.

Of course, time must be a factor in measuring the scope of a job. But the client should not be paying by the hour for the writer to get acquainted with the task.

The value in engaging a professional writer is the expertise, creativity, and skill he or she brings to the job. It's the ability to exceed client expectations with the delivery of a timely, high-quality, document.

An electrician's skill is not climbing the ladder into the roof cavity. The value of artwork is not the time spent at the easel.

And a writer's value is not the amount of time sitting at the keyboard. The value lies in the power and persuasion brought to the written word. The action and emotion aroused in the reader.

Hourly rates undermine efficiency. They force client and writer into competing positions. One wants the job done quickly but it's in the interest of the other to slow it down. Hourly rates remove the writer's accountability for excellent service delivery.

Don't like nasty surprises? Then give hourly rates the boot. For customer satisfaction and service excellence, find a writer prepared to stand by an upfront, firm, written quote.