I do some freelance writing here and there to supplement my meager income. When I started doing this, a long, long time ago, when I was younger and dumber, I really loved writing music and comic book reviews because it was a win-win-win situation: I got to inflict my opinions on the public, I got free CDs, concert tickets, comics and other promo swag and to top it off, I got paid.
I was eventually able to turn the freelancing into a full-time job editing a magazine, which eventually became six magazines. Again, I was insanely happy, because this was one of my ultimate fantasy dream jobs. Then I figured out that the publisher of the magazine -- my boss -- and I would never see eye-to-eye on damn near anything. So my dream job quickly became the shittiest job I've ever had -- and I've worked at McDonald's, so I know a shitty job when I have one. But I think I was still pretty good at it (editing the magazines, not flipping burgers) so I lasted three and a half years, which was two and a half years longer than I expected.
After that gig ended, I went back to the glamorous world of finance before we decided to move to Louisville. Thanks to my illustrious journalism career, I was able to procure a full-time "hard news" job as well as the freelance shit. But believe it or not, I take some semblance of pride in my work, and unfortunately, since I have to do all my freelance stuff during my "off" hours, I fear that the work occasionally suffers.
So why do I still do it? Because of the swag, mainly. Yes, I have sold out for promotional materials. I am one of the music industry's many bitches.
The moral of this story is, be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.