It started with published poetry and both lit mag and school newspaper involvement when I was a young twerp. Later on, I was an editor and writer for my college paper, and also landed a part-time editorial assistant / copy editing gig at a local weekly. I went on to intern at alternative weeklies, online mags, and small presses before landing a full-time job for an academic book publisher. And though I moved steadily up the ladder while there, I eventually left to go full-time freelance, during which time I was an editor at an online mag, a sex columnist (twice), a blog manager (twice), a ghostwriter, etc. I even landed myself a literary agent on the strength of my book proposal.
I also spent a couple years coaching beginning freelance writers but, during that time, found myself becoming disillusioned by the whole damn game, and burnt out on the things I was writing. Rates were dropping everywhere. Quality writing was being devalued. And I’d been asked to write so many lowest-common-denominator listicles that I began to lose my taste for the hustle. I mean, what was the point? Why write crap content for crap rates? Why continue hustling for work that didn’t even make me proud? [Read more...]