I have worked as a freelance author, artist and performer for my entire adult life.  I support honest freelancers that share the same work ethic and morality.  I believe in set project prices.  I do not believe in gouging people with an invented hourly rate that suddenly appears when the bill arrives.

I do not appreciate or condone what I call the “Freeloading
Freelancer” who lives to bleed every last drip of blood from your

I’m sure you’ve met their kind — they promise you one thing and bill you for another.

You never really agree on a set price or an hourly rate — yet they charge you into the stars their topmost hourly rate and don’t blink, or even choke, as they try to get you to swallow their fallow spittle flowing from their bill.  They might even do good work, but the bitter aftertaste left in your mouth after taking in their bill forever remains attached to your tongue.

You know you’ve met a “Freeloading Freelancer” when you question their “bill” and in exchange you get an hourlong email explaining, to the nth degree, how lucky you are to have them and a laundry list all the extra things they DID NOT charge you for even though they could have. 

That sort of email in defense of freeloading is unseemly and, frankly, rage-inspiring. 

As their bill sinks into your flesh and settles in your marrow, you begin to realize they have left you bloodless and disbelieving as you begin to understand their scam:  Despite their claims to the contrary, every little bit is billed.  Work is not done entirely, or even properly and, if future-promised, is ultimately left undone. 

So what do you do as a honest freelancer having to deal with a Freeloading Freelancer when you’re expecting to pay half as much as demanded in a fantastical, demented, bill?

You can argue it — but why bother — these Freeloaders live on the bitterness of a billing fight so they can tie you up in even more knots for their sadistic wonderment.  They also can threaten you with a timebomb on that will “explode” and delete your work if you don’t pay on time, or they’ll claim to release “by honest mistake” your proprietary content to others who will exploit your work for their profit or they won’t readily provide you the passwords they created to protect your content.

The Freeloading Freelancer lives in the threat and dies on the dime.

So, you end up paying their hourly ransom — but you vow with the little blood you have left to never hire them again, never celebrate them in print again and to retroactively remove any previous, misguided, endorsements — and you promise yourself that others will never be falsely fed from the betraying hand of that Freeloading Freelancer! 

Your moral revenge is earned against their future lost work and in the calm knowing their bloodthirst will go unquenched, as stones hereafter are no longer offered for their bloody milking.


  1. sounds like someone took you for a ride. Is this the matter you mentioned the other day? I hate fast talkers. They think they can snow you with words.

  2. I do feel as if someone tried to fling me upside down to see what fell out of my pockets, anne. I work with a lot of freelancers and I’ve never had an experience quite like that one. When you ask a question and you don’t get back a simple answer — that’s a big sign something is not quite what it hopes to be.

  3. its good to send out a warning about getting caught. No contract? Thats so not like you.

  4. Thanks, anne. I thought there was a contract for a flat fee. The other side wanted an hourly fee and then billed their want. There was obviously never a meeting of the minds as my associates and attorney have pointedly pointed out to me.

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