You know how sometimes you’re going about your day, everything seems normal and calm and then BAM! Something gets in the way of that that just pisses you off. Well that happened to me today when I recieved the following email strand:
So here’s what’s been going through my mind since reading these.
- I “applied” to be a contributing writer two years ago and was rejected, for no reason whatsoever.
- Once I got published a few times on Thought Catalog, I applied again, mainly for shits and giggles and for self-validation; knowing full well that my loyalty lies with Thought Catalog, the website that published me first and continues to publish me. I recieved an “acceptance” email from Elite Daily within 30 minutes of applying once they saw that the samples I submitted were already published by Thought Catalog. I have never been a huge fan of Elite Daily. I think Thought Catalog and Buzzfeed are better and more relevant. But that’s just me.
- Fuck off Elite Daily. First and foremost, you already don’t pay your contributing writers, which is not uncommon for many publications. To demand that they remove it from their LinkedIn is just a dick move. The header for LinkedIn is called “Experience.” This ranges from volunteer experience to full time jobs to classes someone has taken that may qualify them for a job. It doesn’t ask for a salary or what type of “employment” it may be. Because it is purely for experience purposes. Second of all, writing for a publication like Elite Daily is experience. It can help struggling writers qualify for jobs that they might actually get paid for. I do believe that it is up to the individual to explain to potential employers that this was not a paid position but that they can provide links to their work. Work that was deemed “good enough” for Elite Daily, that may or may not help them in the future. Thirdly, get off your high horse Elite Daily. Your audience is one that will inevitably die off. Meaning that your website will not be so hot in five or ten years. It’s for millennials, who right now use it for solace or companionship or information, but in a few years you will be just like Myspace, with everyone saying, “Remember when Elite Daily used to be cool?” Lastly, you gain valuable work and exposure from some of those contributing writers and they get no credit or pay for it. The least you can do is “allow” them to call themselves a writer.
- This whole thing also got me thinking about a bigger issue. An issue that I have been struggling with for years since becoming a blogger. Are there so many writers/bloggers out there now that we are devaluing our work? It’s a tough question to grapple with as a blogger and aspiring writer. Everyone can have a blog. So how can you tell the good writers from the bad ones? Should we get to judge people’s writing so easily based on a blog? Am I someone who is detracting from another writer’s work? People believe that we aren’t valuable because they hold the false belief that “anybody can do it.” From someone who took classes on blogging and writing online, it’s not for everyone. There is so much more to it than just what the readers see.
- The field of Arts and Humanities is probably the least respected field there is, and it explains why a lot of people or businesses think they can get away with not paying the artists they benefit from. It’s despicable and it should be illegal. But those people who aren’t getting paid are so passionate and frankly often desperate to connect with people, or the right person, that they put up with it. And we shouldn’t.
I realize that one writer boycotting a certain website or trying to stand up for the artists everywhere is a drop in the ocean. I get it, but hey at least I’m standing for something. And guess what, until something changes for people in my field, I am not going to sit down.