I recently got the job that I thought I wanted three years ago. That was around the time when I forfeited my unbearable existence for a temperament that I hoped would match my dream.
The dream to write and write and write to my heart’s content and have readers recognize my message as worthy of their time of reflection.
Thanks to Medium — I won that privilege — in fact — I can declare that I surpassed my expectations with glorious recognition.
It all began with my five-year-old blog. That served as the portfolio for the things that I wanted to cover for an audience that I hoped existed. The times hadn’t quite caught on to the virus of social media to the degree that it presently overwhelms.
I submitted to the requirements of Adsense but my ultimate goal was to do all I could to prove my worthiness as a reporter and deliverer of the truth at all costs.
My interviews were scheduled around my 9 to 5 and there were times when lunch breaks were spent stuck in a New York cab — as I prayed to make it to my time slot with the subject at The Empire Hotel.
I spoke with documentarians who utilize their activism as currency in a world that has become too loud and cluttered to settle for the tangibles. I helped to expose the maddening episodes that occur both at home and abroad, and took pride in my involvement — while also humbly appreciating the reward of time allotted to my blog — that yielded not much traffic at all.
The pressure to seduce more readers led me to pepper generic fare as a snack for those who depend on it for daily consumption.
Then, early this year, it occurred to me that I had deviated from my original template. My blog was no different from any of the others which, in this day and age is an appalling realization.
I decided to take an extended break.
My allegiance to Medium was paying off — big time, and I was churning out pieces like a writer on steroids.
Like my own blog before it, I wasn’t at all concerned about viewership. When I first began my independence, back in Nov. 2015, nobody was reading my work. The numbers were low and I remember feeling excited when I finally hit “10 recommends.”
That was a good day.
All that mattered was that someone was acknowledging what I had to say.
Then the numbers began to skyrocket and the praises started pouring in, and even though I was and still am appreciative beyond words — the mission has always been to continue my passion without distractions or pressure to outperform another writer on the heels of my growing following.
I have managed to maintain that tempo without fail but I seem to be alone in my quest for literary purity.
My current position which I will be vacating sooner rather than later is a perfect example of the state of affairs in media.
They want writers that write for people that don’t either know how to read or prefer not to.
My priorities have shifted massively in the last decade, which means calculating how many dates and breakups equal a celebrity’s lifetime no longer appeals to me. Also, I care about the facts way too much for my own good. I’ve been told that I am too editorial.
I have been bullied into becoming an expert at scheduling sheets of tweets for the overnight crowd. And when I reluctantly deliver, I’m scolded for not remembering to put a period in front of a handle or for not tweeting the headlines in lower-case. I’ve been forced to resurrect my Facebook account because the late night talk show crowd lives there.
I’ve been given every advice on how to be a social media whore but nothing about my edits or ability to pitch stories that are uniquely sound and cohesive.
Aggregation is the name of this damaging game that is being played out in full view — and that’s because headlines can contain the wrong photo or a plethora of typos — and the article which is skimmed through in favor of high-res images can also suffer a similar fate.
Because we don’t care. Anymore.
I care — and that’s why I glowed with self-adulation when I re-opened my blog and scanned all the work that I have accumulated thus far.
I did it all because I write for people who read and I know there aren’t many of you but, to the ones — I know.