Essay | Biting the Hand that Doesn’t Feed Me – The Gig Economy

Inside the eighth Evil Ditch inside the eighth Circle of Hell you will find the “Gig Economy.” Near the back of the ditch, inside a ditch within the ditch and suffering under a particularly bright and beautiful flame, are those who pay “expert” writers $4.25 an hour.

No surprise that there are people paying writers less than minimum wage, sometimes half of minimum wage. What is stunning is how many people line up to get a seat inside those virtual writing sweatshops, people sharing a house with eight other recent college graduates.

It has long been true (I say) that 99% of people who write do not publish and 99% of those who publish don’t make money and 99% of those who make money don’t earn enough money writing to live on and of those who make enough to live on, less than 1% make enough money to be considered wealthy (your statistics may vary). It’s this sort of mind-numbing probability that always kept your uncle Norm, having successfully completed his 500-page memoir, from trying to compete for bread and butter writing assignments

But the Gig Economy is giving hope and refuge to “good enough.” Ever wonder where so much bad to mediocre professional writing featured on revenue generating websites comes from? That’s right, the eighth Evil Ditch inside the eighth Circle of Hell.

I’ve worked in coffee a long time and this all reminds me of customers who complained about the wholesale price of specialty coffee.

“Sure, your coffee tastes a lot better, but for the price you charge for one-pound wholesale I can buy two pounds at Costco.”

“I admit, your coffee is really good, but even with the cost of shipping, the coffee I buy from Italy cost me less than half your price.”

The difference between great, good, and good enough. The invisible hand is supposed to sort it all out but is notoriously fickle when it comes to the commercial versions of art, and it is old news that writers are overlooked and underappreciated from Hollywood to the advertising suite. If you don’t believe me, just ask any writer you meet.

Me, I’m not complaining. I always write and will continue to write. The good news is; modern miracles allow writers who write just for the love of it to put their writing on display rather than in a desk drawer. Even one reader is better than none. Maybe it is the wish for more than that, more readers rather than money, that causes some to sell their skill for $4.25 an hour. I’ll keep writing for the love of it and as part of a job where I get to do other things too. That’s the plan. That’s how I deal with the invisible hand, but I’m still going to bite it if I can ever find it.

 


Note: It is Two for Tuesday. You can buy the writing above for .25 a words and get anything else I’ve written under 500 words for free! Put your own name on it and post it wherever you want. Put your bosses name on it. Remove “Gig Economy” and replace it with the name of your competitor. That’s right, send your competition to the eighth circle of Hell! Replace “coffee” with your product. Or, I can rewrite the entire thing to be specific to you and/or your business, a top to bottom customization for $584. And because it is Two for Tuesday, choose any two words from this customized writing and those two words are FREE!

 


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