Trapped by linkbait

After reading a magazine article by a freelancer, I clicked over to his blog. It was part of a bigger media site, and it contained more than a hundred articles.

Every single one of them was formulaic. The standard linkbait headline:

([Integer between 5 and 10] WAYS to [action verb like avoid or stumble or demolish] [juicy adjective like stupid or embarrassing or proven] [noun].)

Every article was edited to exactly the length thought to maximize page views and every single article was boring. Sometimes he got to end his headlines with a question mark, but that was the extent of the humanity involved.

Daily, this talented writer trades in his art for what feels like a job writing. But he's not writing, he's not building a following, he's not doing work that matters. He doesn't actually have a voice, he's doing piecework, work that will be replaced by someone else's output as soon as his boss can find someone cheaper.

He'd be way better off doing highly-paid work as a plumber for a few hours a day, and then doing real writing in his spare time.

Practice doesn't make perfect. Meaningful practice makes perfect, even if you don't get paid for it.

       
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