(Originally Posted at Medium)
The more time I spend browsing the articles on this platform the more I see noise problems just like any other social media platform. Though I am not surprised, this has made me think about why I am writing just as you should think about why and what you are writing.
I write because I like to write. Though it may sound like a broken record I will say again that I do hope that at some point I can live solely on what I write. But the truth is I like to write, I think most writers like to write that is why we are called writers. If you are writing and don’t actually like to write then why do you write? Do you write just for a paycheck?
Don’t get me wrong, there are many jobs in the world where people make a weekly paycheck to write. These positions are all over the place. But if you are an independent writer trying to push your wares through this maze of content creation sites and social media hell remember to not lose sight of why you started writing to begin with. The hope is that it was because you love to write and have things to say that can be expressed elegantly through your words. And remember, most of those that make a weekly paycheck do not own the content they are creating. We, as independent content creators do own what we type. We own every single word of every single paragraph that we write. It is ours to do with as we please.
The noise I speak of is of course the plethora of articles about how to get your articles published, why your readership is going down, why you are not making as much as you should, why your latest social media referral program cost you $100 and you received no benefit. Why use a Medium publisher, why not use a Medium publisher, how this person got screwed, or that person’s latest article got 0 views. They are all over the place, and most of it is noise. Noise that can cause you to veer away from your love and start writing what the publishers want instead of what you want.
We all want to make money for spinning our craft. But when you start bending your thoughts and words to make a paycheck then, in my opinion, you start to lose a piece of yourself. There will always be people that think they can do it better than you. Take your story and “just change these things” and we will publish it. If you are writing technical articles or academic papers, this may be a good thing. But almost anything else that you write should come from your heart and mind, not to be bent by the promise of followers, or likes, or claps, or any other kind of ego-boosting tactics from those that would like to use your original creation to further their agenda.
Not all players in this game are bad guys. I have seen some content publishers that are true to their word, don’t ask for money, and do truly help you boost your article. But be careful of who you trust and be very wary of changing your original work to suit someone else’s needs. If you do this, you may still own the content, but is it really yours?
Ponder these things as you move forward in your daily life of Internet writing. Keep it yours, even for a dollar.