For a couple of years, I tried to make a living as a technical writer. It was a hard way to earn a living. So I gave up.
A few years later, I took the skills I had learned and put together a safety manual for a non-profit society. I did it for free and the board of directors was impressed. But I also kept track of the time I had put into the project. In the non-free world, I would have charged $4000. When I mentioned that, eyes starting looking at the ground. I think they had put the value at around $500.
Much of the world does not understand the skills and time it takes to prepare a great document. I guess I did not have enough patience to work with this world until my talents became recognized by those who are willing to pay more reasonably.
To change perspective a little, for the past 23 years, I have been working on an alternative system of governance — which requires a lot of writing skills and time. For the past 10 years, I do not mention this project to my friends and family. It’s hard for me to see eyeballs turn inside out.
In a nutshell, writers do not have much respect.