the bullshit of writing in the age of the internet

i haven’t felt motivated to write this week, and it’s hard to not get in my head about it. especially following a couple of weeks of feeling that fire in my belly, that strong desire to pour words, thoughts onto the page with a fervor i hope will last but never seems to.

but i have been reading, so i guess that counts for something?

well, to be clear, i have written some. a couple of medium posts i start and then stop because the words don’t feel right, the thoughts don’t feel fully formed. and i don’t want to be yet another person screaming into the void, offering my “hot take” clickbait.

cause god, there is so much gimmicky shit out there. so much urgency around content creation that people write article after article on every current event, every thought that pops into their head, whether or not they’ve given it much consideration or dedicated much research to it.

the amount of clickbait articles on medium is so cringey. (so i guess this is pretty much me just talking shit now)

but really, it sucks. to see writing watered down to content creation. to see people rewarded for churning on consistently mediocre content.

i guess i’m protective of writing, see it as something sacred, something someone is called to do. so doing it in the name of followers and staying “relevant” whether or not you actually feel called to talk about something irks me.

although there are much more significant reasons around why i haven’t really tried to be a professional writer, one of them is because writing isn’t something i want to do to live, something i’m expected to do on command. i don’t want it to become something hollow.

and that’s what it feels like it’s become on so many platforms, for so many writers. it’s a compilation of hot takes and listicles and clickbait titles.

and the worst part is that it seems to work. which is probably the equivalent of the hot chick posting daily selfies on instagram compared to the photographer posting their work with inconsistency because fuck, was art ever meant to be consistent?

of course there are working artists and i tip my hat to them. and there are loads of artists who consistently create content that doesn’t feel shallow or compromised. so i’m not trying to create a binary here.

but our culture of constant consumption. our prioritization of quantity over quality. our expectation to be inspired on a daily basis, to be able to create on demand. our need to stay relevant.. it’s too fucking much.

and once again, for those who can do it without compromising themselves, i’m legit jealous. but for the rest of us, those of us who want to create in an organic manner, who want to feel valid without having to be perpetually “relevant,” it fucking sucks.

and there seems to be a general lack of appreciation and deep engagement, because we’re all busy scrolling to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. (i’m as guilty of this as anyone.)

so even in moments when we do come across something spectacular, how long does it hold our attention?

so not only does the act of creating feel like it gets hollowed out, so does the act of engagement..

i mean, shouldn’t there be space for writing for writing’s sake? don’t we want people who write simply because it sets their soul on fire (or keeps them from losing their mind)? don’t we want people to create without some sort of external goal in mind?

don’t we want people who don’t commodify their art, themselves, and their expression?

fuck, i know i do.

fuck i’m tired

goddamn, i’m tired. i’m not used to being this busy. especially this kind of busy. whoring myself out with little to no returns (the life of constantly pitching as a freelance writer)

it’s honestly so cringey and so draining and so fucking discouraging. to beg people to give you jobs you don’t even want. to try to convince people that you’re passionate about blogging about dentistry.

it’s like applying for a job every time you need to get paid. it’s honestly terrible and i don’t know why i keep doing it.

wait, i remember why. because the other options are quite lackluster as well. i live in a rural small town so unless i want to work at the dollar store, it’s pretty much slim pickings.

ugh ugh ugh. yep, i’m in a spiral of feeling sorry for myself. and there’s always this caveat: it could be worse. much, much worse.

is hating your job and detesting your existence being tied up with capitalistic bullshit just part of being american?

like i’m supposed to get wet over helping people sell a meaningless product. or over constant content creation in the name of SEO.

how, why, when did we get here?

i can already here the shitty white dude voice in my head saying, “what, would you rather be a farmer? ya, and what if your crops fail? you would just go hungry for a year.”

and you know what, BRIAN, i don’t fucking know what i want, okay?? i mean, is it so much to want to be able to survive while doing something meaningful, you know, that serves humanity positively? answer: yes, yes it is.

unless you got buku money to wrack up all the degrees and nonsense it takes to do whatever it is people do who manage financial success and personal fulfillment.

and i don’t know, sometimes i get in my spiritual feels and i genuinely believe it’s all gonna work out somehow. but today, in this moment, i am skeptical, i am cynical, and i am fucking fed up with the bullshit.

and you know what else? i am incredibly fucking privileged (read: college degree, parents who can help me out, white woman) but i am still a millennial. and this all still feels impossible.

i mean, what, am i supposed to get another degree to add $10s of thousands to my already perpetually increasing student loans??

what, brian, would you have me do? suck it up and sell my soul to corporate??

honestly, what is success in america? this is a question that’s been sitting heavy on my mind. who do you look at and think, damn, they got this shit figured out?

it’s like you’re either constantly struggling to survive or giving away way too much of yourself to a job that would replace you in a snap. (and that is stealing your life force, keeping you from getting to, i don’t know, live your fucking life)

damn i am so salty rn you could make jerky with me. but really, it’s so aggravating.

maybe i’m entitled, but you know what, this just can’t be it. i mean, the corporate lords would like us to believe we’ve hit the pinnacle, but let me repeat: this. cannot. be. it.

and so, what do i do? i keep on. doing the bullshit because the bullshit is what pays me.

if you’ve got any answers or guidance, please feel free to share. because from what i can tell, being rich seems like the secret to success in america. or working 70+ hour weeks grinding out until you have enough money saved to.. i don’t even fucking know..

i really don’t know. i wish i did. i wish i had a silver lining or some quippy takeaway.

but all i have is frustration. lots and lots of frustration.