If you’ve got to if after trying to
give it up (Like smoking or Nembutal)
if after swearing to shut it up it keeps on
yakking (that voice in your head)…
o then consider yourself doomed to.
–from Bitter Pills for the Dark Ladies by Erica Jong (Photo)
You can probably predict the tone at least of what I’m about to say. Actually, I haven’t thought it out, and I’m writing directly onto WordPress (I usually write on my computer first before posting). It was only a few weeks ago, maybe two months, that I posted a complaint about not having the bandwidth to write–and now, a short time later, I’m trying to stop myself from blogging. With good reason: I can sometimes spend an entire morning, 3-4 hours, blogging, at which I make zero money. Nada. Zilch. I’ve tried, oh, I have, every so often I have a fit and try to figure out how to, as they say, monetize my blog (a recently invented word, one I actually like). I tried linking to products on Amazon and lingerie shops, putting up ads for baseball posters (only to have them removed by WordPress), begging my readers for handouts/donations, and anything else anyone suggested. I had a long talk once with Susie Bright, who figured it out for herself after a couple of false starts. Sometimes I think there are people destined to make money and others who aren’t; I certainly seem to be one of the latter.
Anyhow, that’s why I’m trying to squelch my blogging urges, and using the time to look for writing gigs online. Applying for them uses up about the same amount of time–especially since I’d been getting work without having to look for over a year, during which I hadn’t been keeping up with the job search variables. I’ve had to update my publications list and my resume (being sure to put the tildes into that word in cover letters, like so: résumé). I’ve had to readjust to inevitable changes in format and rules on the job sites I use, spiff up my profiles, and look up old passwords. Some days it takes all morning to apply for one gig–which is okay, since there isn’t more than one a day worth applying to.
Being a writer and having the chutzpah to try and make a living at it was always hard, but these days we’re in transition mode, moving away from print and online instead. This has created quite a bit of chaos, at least for serious writers. Making a living at this is even harder than it was before. Articles I used to get paid $100 for from a venue like, say, the SF Bay Guardian, are what online moguls want to pay $10 for now. I kid you not. Okay, maybe they don’t want them to be as long as print articles–but so what? It always took me longer to cut than to write, since I frequently go over word count; it’s easier to be verbose than precise. I do the same amount of research, thinking, interviewing, and fact checking for a 300-word story as for one that’s a thousand words. And we used to complain about the Guardian’s rates, or any venue like it–local,
alternative, progressive–as compared to the 3-5 bucks a word the New Yorker or Vogue pays. The online moguls from India and Japan–and the States too–wanna pay me ten! No thanks. I’d rather blog, so I can write whatever I feel like, with nobody telling me what I can and can’t say.
I’m going off track now. The point is, I cannot and should not spend so much time blogging, and I intend to do less of it. I won’t entirely succeed–see Jong’s poem and other writers’ testimonials; take a look at my list of Writers Quotes. But I will be blogging less.
If anyone cares–I’m sorry, readers, but these are the facts of life as we know it in America on Earth 2013.