A couple of weeks ago, I got an intriguing enquiry via the contact page on this site. To be fair, I get a lot of intriguing enquiries – but they’re the sort that make me wonder about the odd ways people like to spend their time. This one was different. It read:

Curious to know your rates for blogging and what topics you would feel
comfortable covering.

The first part of the message is commonplace – people always want to know what your rates are without telling you what the job is. We don’t supply them, preferring instead to quote on a job-by-job or retainer-by-retainer basis.

The second part, though, was far more interesting. What could the enquirer mean by ‘topics you feel comfortable covering’?

As it happens, he wanted niche lifestyle and sport content. But before I knew that, I started thinking about the topics I wouldn’t feel comfortable covering.

I couldn’t think of much. Erotica? No problem. Alcohol? With pleasure. Tobacco? Probably not, but it would be a wistful refusal (I gave up exactly 4 years today). Firearms? For the domestic market, I’d be delighted (I used to shoot at school and university).

Indeed, after racking my brains, these are the only topics I could definitively say I wouldn’t write about professionally:

  • Politics. To do so would be commercial suicide. Besides, I would rather lop my hands off than write a word in support of some parties.
  • Celery. I could not write a word in praise of celery. I loathe the stuff.
  • Quack medicine. That includes homeopathy. I’m not in the business of offering ill people false hope.

And that’s about it. Though, of course, I reserve the right to not write about something because a) I find the topic boring or b) I don’t like the person who has asked me to write it.

What about you? Are there topics you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole? Or do you have your price…?