Garbage rises to the surface because there’s no weight or depth to any of it. 7 Habits of Successful Manatees, Elon Musk For Fanboys Volume I, Learn How To Make $10,000 a Month Writing — No Writing Experience Required. Everyone whines about the money they never make as if they’re entitled to it: the money, the readers, the virality — a term I assumed would be retired after coronavirus, but no such luck.
Do you even know what the word virus means? This is something you actually want for your writing? To spread like sickness?
I am so very alone.
Having experience, being an expert in your field — these are now the dirtiest of words. Better to learn without doing. Better to rip off Seth Godin articles. Better still, any article written by a man. Let’s dig Steve out of his grave and trot him out for the curtain call. Why not? The internet teaches you everything. Watch a few videos, read a few articles, and boom you’re a teacher. Bearded one, grey-haired one, you’re so wise. Oh, wait. Ageism is cool now so make that a pacifier and a hoodie.
Everyone takes you for a teacher when you’ve never shown up for class. Never held a piece of chalk or stood by a whiteboard. Never done the thing you are believed to be an expert in. Never having to bear the risk one takes when they show up every day to do the hard work.
Do you have a pulse? Can I hear your heart beat? All the lies you tell about the experience you’ve never had. All the fiction in the fancy publications. Will someone ever fact-check you?
We cloak the garbage with pretty pictures and clickbait titles to cover the smell. Every sentence is a paragraph and our words are monosyllabic because everyone requires care and tender feeding. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. The medicine go down, the medicine go down. It’s criminal to ask us to think! It’s the audacity for me. It’s the Slack groups and growth hacks for me.
It’s the cut and paste the same exact article fourteen times with a few words switched around because you know what works. So, you work it. You don’t want to hear that you’re not an expert or even qualified to write about the things you do much less sell courses on them because some coddled child told you to turn away from your reflection.
All the critics are sad haters. You write your sympathy symphonies — you’re above the hate! You feel oh so sorry for those who don’t love you. Do you actually believe you’re the bigger person?
No time for that, sugar. You’re busy littering the streets. Spreading that sickness. Cut and you bleed Bitcoin. Show me those income reports, sugar. Flash your fast car for the world to see.
You’ve never written or published a book but you’ll tell me how to do it in the comments when I’ve published two. You write garbage growth hack articles on Medium and tell me how to write when I’ve been writing and publishing in online and print publications successfully for decades. I worked at HarperCollins Publishers and was part of the team that decided which books got published for years.
What are your bonafides? Oh, right. You’ve reached a hundred million readers.
As if a number means something. I read the ingredients list on the back of cereal boxes. I wonder if General Mills will trot out their one billion reads. As if more means something. Of course, it does. Silly rabbit. Capitalism is for kids.
Let me show you how to write when your longest commitment to a page was 1,000 words. Let me show you how to write when your work reminds me of a sixth-grade book report. When you’re still cribbing lines from Beat writers of the 60s and the Davids (Wallace, Eggers) and Brooklyn bros of the aughts until you discovered Elon Musk and then, well.
Elon Musk For Fanboys Volume II.
Did you know 2020 birthed 56 American billionaires while millions are unemployed and facing eviction? But let’s hold up our big boys and anoint them gods because people love hate-reading about other people’s money.
I am so fucking tired of what I see online every single day. A handful of beauty amidst so much rubble. We have to dig, my friends. Here’s the shovel. Find the art on Instagram. The characters on YouTube. Articles that actually mean something on Medium instead of the same ten tired topics regurgitated in seemingly endless permutations.
It’s funny how a search for articles about writing shows more articles on making money from writing than learning how to write. No matter. You don’t have to be good, or even great, you just have to know how to format shit. You have to perfect packaging.
I am so fucking tired of seeing beauty drowned out by noise. A desire for shortcuts, easy solutions, quick wins, fantasy stories and the promise of riches just like that Elon Musk fanboy you follow.
Elon Musk For Fanboys Volume III — isn’t he an abusive motherfucker? Transphobic? No one writes about that. Oh, right, because he has it scrubbed off the internet. You’d be surprised what money can do. Better to focus on his brilliance, those billions. Better not to dig deep below the surface. You like your surfaces. They’re unmoored and shiny.
I’m so fucking tired of seeing your income reports and marketing schemes in my feed. You’re knocking out the good stuff. The true crime, fiction, poetry, and neurology articles I like to read. It’s like cockroaches in the apocalypse. I keep blocking you and dozens sprout up and scatter in your wake. How do you call yourself a marketer when you can’t get the definition of a brand right? I MEAN.
Sometimes, I come to this space and don’t want to write anymore. I don’t want to pitch editors or make an effort. Why bother when you’re shouting and I whisper? Why bother when someone calls some random person the best writer on the internet, and I shake my head and think, you must not read very much. Why bother when people concern troll in the comments or tell me how to do the thing I’ve been doing for decades and they can’t even get the facts right? Why bother when people tell me what it’s like to be a real writer when they don’t know the difference between your and you’re.
If you’re going to insult my writing, at least get your spelling right.
I used to post my email because I wanted to connect one-on-one with people, but the day I did it some guy told me he wanted to fuck my face and another told me I was a greedy cunt so there you go. Now, I don’t even want to read the comments anymore.
Sometimes, I don’t want to show up here and do the work because I think — why bother?
It takes days to remind myself that I matter. The fiction that often takes me days or weeks to write is read by fifty people, but those fifty people matter. The handful of people who tell me I’ve transformed their business matter. The clients who hire me matter. All of you, minus the inevitable fuckwits in the comments, matter.
Sometimes, it takes me writing I matter, I matter, I matter to rise. Shuffle the cards. And keep on playing.