Harlan Ellison is my hero!
How refreshing to hear a writer tell it exactly the way it is. If you haven't seen this on You Tube, follow the link. If you're easily offended, overlook some of the language.
Harlan is so right. Especially about people who want your writing for free, or the nearest thing to free.
As someone who freelances, I see this "compensated by recognition" as an escalating problem. Every day I see jobs posted where clients want 50 articles for a buck a pop. You've got to be kidding me! The amateurs who eagerly land those jobs don't realize they're getting screwed, and, in the process, they're screwing every pro out there by creating a low-paying environment for writers.
Sure, it exists in the book publishing industry too for those without agents. Get a good agent and then what you get depends on the negotiating power of your agent.
I guess it's just a surprise that someone of Harlan's stature is subjected to the same thing.
I won't take penny-ante jobs as my dad would call them. In fact, I turn down about three jobs offered to me every day. Why? I won't work for peanuts though due to my own perfectionism, I sometimes feel like that's what I end up with, but that's another story.
I produce quality writing, and I expect to be compensated justly for that. Every writer should do the same.
Rant on, Harlan. Rant on.