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    Longreads | 1/16/20 | 21 min
    7 reads13 comments
    9.5
    Longreads
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    • Alexa
      Scout
      7 months ago

      Ah this hit me right in the feels.

      And yet at the same time, of course it’s just a job — this is the secret I didn’t know when I began. It requires the same grind and tedium as a job. The same negotiations for pay and promotion. The same boredom and frustration. But sometimes I need to remember that if it is just this, the meaning can bottom out — then I wonder, why do it at all.

      I love it. There is this certain feeling I get when people ask me what I do and I can say I'm a writer. It's a weird point of pride even though it often means writing weird blogs about probiotics or who knows what else. Still, I feed myself. I felt very seen by this piece and the struggle.

      Yet writing for a living often means writing, ultimately, what the market will bear.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        7 months ago

        Wonderful. Thank you for sharing! I was waiting for your thoughts on this one.

        We need to have an e-coffee and I gotta tell you about my tenure as head of the writer community (aka "head of supply") at Contently.

        Basically, I was the voice of the platform, one step removed from the actual client, and responsible for onboarding oodles of writers into a giant grinder that produced weird blogs about probiotics. Or, more accurately, it produced the writers who produced the content, at scale. It made me sad to work with writers in that capacity. Many had previously had illustrious careers in the journalism industry. So it wasn't just the pay cut. It was the dignity cut. By a longshot (like everything in life) it wasn't all negative. It was a ton of learning. And, really, all stakeholders were operating against tough prevailing winds.

        Some marketplaces are really good for society. They move markets in a positive direction and create new value for consumers. Lots of marketplace businesses, though, are more like leeches. They eek up opportunity from the wreckage, rather than envisioning a better future.

        The digital writing market SUCKS. I'm so glad the writer said sucks so many times, because even though it's a shitty, sucky word, it really does work in this case.

        1. Update (2/12/2020):

          *When I say “marketplaces” I’m referring to two-sided tech platforms. Uber, Airbnb, Fiverr, etc. A decade ago I worked at a place that was an “uber for corporate lawyers,” basically, called Axiom. Then, the phenomenon was just getting started. In fact, that was still years before Uber even existed. Sidecar was just starting to operate in SF.

        • Alexa
          Scout
          7 months ago

          omg, that is too relatable. It's like a puppy mill for content....i guess they call those content mills. I have been squeezed by those kind of companies before, it makes me so sad. More garbage on the internet is not helping anyone.

          When I find clients with a healthy, holistic content marketing thesis i get my grappling hooks in them so fast. "wait, you want pay real rates for meaningful, quality content....🤯" ** wifes them up immediately **

          Definitely let's do an e-coffee, I just saw on that podcast that you & Jeff work on motorcycles and now I know i have to make y'all my friends.

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
            7 months ago

            Fun facts: Jeff bought my grandma’s laundromat, ran it for a while, then sold the washing machines on eBay and turned the back half of the place basically into a motorcycle garage where we all hung out. I haven’t had a bike in years, but I miss it all the time - whenever I see one on the road basically.

            • Alexa
              Scout
              7 months ago

              I love this story. That's so rad. Provided we find a location I'm throwing a motorcycle campout in the Sierras this summer since my favorite one is taking a year off, y'all are fully invited. We'll guest list you, Jeff & Sputnik haha.

              • bill
                Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
                7 months ago

                Yes! I 💯 all of this: ☀️🏕 🌌 🏍 🤘

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      7 months ago

      Another amazing read about writing.

      "I keep doing it in the hopes that someday that elusive balance will be struck between financial stability and creative freedom."

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        7 months ago

        Are you a writer?

        I'm literally trying to write right now and struggling with writer's block.

        • deephdave
          Top reader this weekReading streakScout
          7 months ago

          Nope, I am just curious about reading and writing, nowadays habituated to spend around an hour on readup to improve my vocabulary, reading and writing skills.

          • bill
            Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
            7 months ago

            Amazing! We're happy to have you, and enjoying your comments.

            • deephdave
              Top reader this weekReading streakScout
              7 months ago

              Thank you! Certainly, Readup is "Fitbit for online reading".

    • kellyalysia7 months ago

      This very much struck a chord with me.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        7 months ago

        Oh my god, yes! Great find! The internet should work a lot better for writers.

        <3 The Overstory :)