As some of you may know I gave up work a few years ago to care for my elderly father. I haven't been able to return because of mental health probs and have found enormous solace in being a full time writer and blogger. I've always been a writer but never had the chance to sit down and say : "Yes, this is how I want to make my living, I'm going to keep at this". Not since I gave up on Uni anyway.

My problem is this: people keep using my services for free and I keep letting them. Today I was going to finally pen an email to a website I write for and question the owner as to what happened to the "paid gig" he promised me. I have ignored the fact he's never paid me because I like what I'm writing about, it's a passion plus I also have my own website and looking at his page ranking and site stats, his site only has a few hundred more visitors a week than mine and I figured he's a bit of a dreamer, he's a really nice guy but maybe gets a bit carried away.

My website has only just started making advertising revenue and it in no way pays for itself, I'm desperately looking for sponsors as lets face it, Google adsense sucks. (If you are interested I get about 900+ page views a day: here's my ad page, I still have a "new year" sale on! http://www.webstoodstupid.com/about-us-adver… ). The guy I work for does get sponsors so he's making something but a site search review estimates him as making about a dollar a day and he's always talking hiring new people and starting more sites! Still, ignoring this, I realised he probably couldn't pay me and carried on.

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Today I decided I needed to address the matter, I'm going to ask for a gesture of goodwill just so I can carry on, my struggling to pay my bills is affecting my writing on my site and it's doing my head in. I logged in to tumblr to have a muck about there and found someone else asking me to write for their website, 1 article a month for 3 months, a collaboration, and guess what? They want me to do it for free! I feel like I'm going crazy. Is the universe having a laugh at my expense? I spent a few days this week helping out a good friend of mine, she is the writer of My Mad Fat Dairy, I helped her set up a tumblr (she's a self confessed Luddite). Just spending those few hours in her world, seeing her level of success, made me feel so bad. I'm absolutely overjoyed for her, but feeling a little sorry for myself...

What do you say guys? Does this keep happening to me because I let it? Should I take a stand? I continually support artists who are being taken advantage of and help when they need a shout out or support. Is it not the same for us writers?

Thoughts on a postcard to the usual address. ( The bottom of the page!) If anyone can share this to Write Stuff that'd be awesome. Is it WriteStuff all one word or two...?