A Millennial Editor Responds

Hello, fellow normal bloggers, average writers and rookie journalists under 30. So I suspect most of you have read the piece in the NYT about not writing for free.

If not, read that first and come back.

OK, now that you’re back, let me explain why this article does not apply to you.

First off, the writer here has been published in some of our nation’s most prestigious publications. Chances are, you have not. He’s being invited to write and speak. We have to desperately hope for someone with a lot of followers to retweet our blog if anyone is going to read it.

No one knows us (yet) to invite us anywhere. We’re young. We’re just starting out on this journey of professional wordsmithing. (Which excuses that verbification, you see.) We can’t expect to be paid for every blog post we write.

Listen, I get it. I understand the need to make money in our craft, the need to end this “being paid in bylines” myth and the need to pay bills/rent/loans/for food. I, too, turned up my nose at putting forth my best reporting, writing and editing skills for nothing. I used to sniff at ridiculous editors who expect quality writers to come begging for the opportunity to pretty please be allowed to write for such an outstanding publication.

Then I became that editor.

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