I was thinking about intellectual property the other day. Much of what I do involves processing information and then creating new ways of articulating it. Until recently, most of my work was purely creative. My most current clients, however, require research and analysis in order to create the product. This is very different from creating something from within me. My own creations are certainly unique, but that is different because those creations happen naturally and they come from within. When I have to do research on the other hand, what I produce is the result of an added dimension to the writing process. When a client asks for commentary on a particular theory, for example, I have to research that theory, grapple with it until I understand it on my own terms, then begin the creative writing process to produce the end product. This makes the end product something I would definitely call intellectual property.
For too long now I’ve charged for the end product based on how many pages it is and how many words there are on that page. I figure in my creativity as a part of the price for such and such number of words or pages. As a result, my intellect has been a “freebie” – a bonus. Writers, your intellect is your most valuable resource!
You may not be able to put an exact price on your intellect, but you can certainly justify its value! Keep this in mind when estimating the cost of potential jobs.