Translation of "Let me break down exactly how we’ve screwed over creative people."

Jon Westenberg, “Let me break down exactly how we’ve screwed over creative people.”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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Let me break down exactly how we’ve screwed over creative people.

Creatives are fucked. And it may be too late.

The best part of doing creative work online for people is when they email you to say “you used to be good but now you’re a loser.” Or another of my favourites this week, “Fuck off you marketing scum.” Or “websites aren’t real businesses. Go build software asshole.” All of these for people who are consuming work that you’ve done for free.

But hey, at least you get offered speaking and performing and writing and creative gigs!

…until you tell them you want them to pay for your expenses or even a fee. Then they disappear pretty damn fast.

Which is your own fault for violating the golden rule — bloggers and writers must never try to get paid.

Once you try and get paid everyone thinks you’ve sold out. And they send you lovely messages yelling at you for it.

How dare you!

And when they read your free content they think they’re doing you a favour. And tell you that, too. “I gave you 5 minutes of my time reading your shit, so you owe me one.”

I love publishing. But it’s a tough racket. And there’s a lot of crap you have to be able to handle from a lot of people. With not a whole lot back. It’s the same for almost any other creative industry.

It’s also becoming increasingly difficult to look at publishing online or being an artist or recording music or starting a publication as a full time career.

If you do want to get into creative work, you’re going to have to see it as a side hustle. Not your main gig. That’s just the way it is.

It could become your main gig — if you’re very, very lucky — but the chances are slim. It’s hard to make it work.

But that’s the case for most content creators. Film makers. Artists. Writers. Musicians. We’ve made it easier than ever to make stuff, and harder than ever to make enough money to live. And every day, there’s a new “disruptive” startup that does more damage.

What they “disrupt” is creator’s profits, most of the time. That’s what music streaming did.

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