As a follow-up to my last post on writing rates, I want to recommend a very good article on becoming a successful freelancer: "Success Made Simple: An Interview with Wendy Burt," by Jennifer Brown Banks. The article is part of Dan Case's "Writing for DOLLARS!" newsletter (you have to scroll down to get to the article). Although the article doesn't address the problem of low-paying clients, it does talk about what is necessary to become a financially successful writer -- and it debunks the stereotype of the "starving artist" that trips up so many writer-hopefuls.
I also wanted to suggest a couple of articles on choosing a computer. The first article addresses the pros and cons of a laptop versus a desktop, which is a crucial concern for many writers. A lot of writers like the idea of being able to take their work with them wherever they go, but others value having the most powerful machines on the market (which laptops are typically not). This article is a concise summary of the pros and cons of each, and may help you make a decision if you haven't already.
(Of course, I have to take this opportunity to remind everyone again how much I love my little Averatec. At about 3 1/2 pounds, it's probably one of the smallest fully-functional laptops on the market, and well under half the price of Sony's competitor, the 2.8-pound Vaio. You just don't get the same level of mobility with one of those 8-pound Dell honkers.)
The final article talks about what to look for in a laptop. It's an at-a-glance comprehensive guide on the different kinds of laptops, and the advantages of each. Personally, because my priority is mobility, I prefer the lightweight laptops. (I don't get the whole gaming thing. It seems like such a money- and time-sink, and all pretty pointless. Certainly not worth carrying an extra 4 pounds on my shoulder.) Although the article is correct that many ultra-small laptops are pretty expensive, Averatec machines are pretty affordable. I've been using mine for almost two years now, and I couldn't be happier!