I know I have said lots about writers being woefully underpaid, and that is absolutely true 🙂 However, do not let the title of this post mislead you. It is not a tirade on the financial plight of Writers or Teachers. It is to share what I try to do in my life, in my own small way, about balancing ‘paid’ projects with ‘voluntary’ work.
So there are Ghostwriting Projects where we charge handsomely. Similarly when it comes to Teaching, depending on whom and where, I tend to charge well. But I don’t do this just because I CAN. I do it so that it allows me the luxury of then devoting time to certain projects, causes, events and enterprises where I am happy to work pro-bono.
Again, the point here is not to try and sound like sage; I’m not. But given that I am nowhere near capable of making monetary contributions to the many causes I feel strongly towards; the next best thing I know how to do, and absolutely love to do, is volunteer my time and my few skills. Just one example of this Work-Volunteer Balance I try and maintain is a Workshop I did for this NGO that is doing tremendous work in the advocacy and promotion of Organ Donation. So for over 100 school children from multiple schools across Jaipur, we organized a sensitization event where I held a Film & Poster Making Workshop. Here, the kids were explained how they can make short films and posters on this subject, and went back to their respective schools and produced some brilliant work! In the process, not only were they familiarized with this important issue, they became advocates of the same. A win-win.
People often tell my wife and I that we are very EXPENSIVE! Our ‘rates’ are TOO much. But it is because we know the quality we provide, and, it is these projects that help us, PAY IT FORWARD!